Be cautious not to overcook quail meat as it will become dry and tough. The quail is sufficiently cooked when the meat is slightly firm to the touch (similar to the feel of a cooked chicken breast) and juices run clear.
Semi-Boneless Quail, Boneless Quail Breasts,
Seasoned Quail, and Split Quail
Grill: Pre-heat grill to a medium-high heat (about 400°F). Apply a light coat of olive oil to the surface of the quail and season. Place quail on grill breast side down. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip the quail and cook for another 5-7 minutes. The quail is done when meat is slightly firm (it will feel like a cooked chicken breast) and juices run clear.
Oven: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Season the quail then sear them in the pan until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place quail in the oven and roast until cooked through and juices run clear, about 10 - 15 minutes. Basting the quail every few minutes with olive oil and/or pan juices will help them stay moist.
Grill: Quail legs make a quick and tasty appetizer. The easiest way to cook them is in a basket (like one used to cook fish) or skewered like shrimp. Pre-heat grill to a medium-high heat. Grill the legs on one side for about 3-5 minutes then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes. The meat is cooked through when it is firm and the meat has shrunk just slightly up the drumstick. Basting the quail legs with a glaze is a good way to keep them moist and add an additional layer of flavor.
Stove Top: Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When oil is hot (shimmering) add the quail legs and cook on one side for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Grill: Whole quail and stuffed quail are best cooked when seared over a high heat then allowed to finish roasting over indirect heat. On a gas grill turn the front and rear or left and right burners to medium-high and leave the middle burner off. On a charcoal grill make a pile of hot coals on each side and leave the middle clear. Apply a light coat of olive oil to the surface of the quail and season. Place quail on grill breast side down on the hot part of the grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until browned, flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until other side is browned. Move quail to the middle of the grill for indirect cooking. Cook an additional 10-12 minutes until the meat is slightly firm and juices run clear.
Oven: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Roast quail in oven about 15-20 minutes until the meat is slightly firm and juices run clear.
Stuffed quail must be cooked slightly longer than unstuffed quail. Follow the basic instructions for whole quail but increase the roasting time to a total of about 20 minutes on the grill and 30 minutes in the oven.