Honey and Mustard Roasted Quail Recipe


Cailles rôties au miel et à la moutarde translates in English to honey and mustard roasted quails. This dish is “uber” easy to make, as the girls (they’re teenagers) would say. I halved the quails lengthwise for faster cooking time, then glazed the meat with a honey and mustard mixture. The sweetness and subtle heat from the sauce make the perfect sophisticated dish.

I couldn’t resist serving the quails with quenelles of mashed potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying as hard as I can to shed the last few pounds I gained during my pregnancy. I work out very hard daily but even though I watch my diet, I don’t deprive myself of delicious foods. It’s all about portion control. Quails are delicious and smaller sized than chicken. One quail was sufficient for my appetite and I felt full afterwards. I probably would eat two on a regular basis but that would only be out of sheer greediness!

1. Info for Honey and Mustard Roasted Quail Recipe

  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 530kcal

2. Ingredients for Honey and Mustard Roasted Quail Recipe

  • 6 quails
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon papaya paste (see tips)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons leeks (green part only), sliced
  • 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns
  • ⅓ cup mustard
  • 4½ tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 16 sprigs chives
  • juice of half a lemon, freshly squeezed

3. Directions:

  1. In a mortar and pestle, grind ¾ teaspoon peppercorns. Add baking powder, papaya paste, ¾ teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon oil. Mix until well combined.
  2. Clean the quails and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut them in half vertically using sharp poultry shears. Coat them with the contents from the mortar and pestle. Let marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Remove the quails from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes ahead of time to bring them back to room temperature before cooking.
  5. In a heatproof, non-stick pan, heat the rest of the oil. Add the leeks and cook until softened and lightly golden. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Place the quails skin side down (with as little marinade as possible); add the remaining garlic. Brown the skin for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Lower to medium-high heat, cook the quails on the other side for another 2 minutes. Flip again. Season the other side. Transfer to a plate.
  6. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the pan. Add 3½ tablespoons honey and ¼ cup water, then bring to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining lemon juice and mustard. Return and cook the quails for about 2 minutes in the pan (they will finish cooking in the oven). Baste the quails with the juice from the bottom of the pan. Return the leeks and add 2 snipped sprigs chives to the pan, cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. DPrinkle the birds with the remaining balck pepper. Add ¼ cup water to the bottom of the pan and transfer to the oven. Roast for 15 min.
  8. In the microwave, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add 1 tablespoon honey. Baste the birds with the butter mix using a silicone brush. Increase the temperature to 400°F and roast for 5 more minutes to brown the top.
  9. Tie the tips of 2 halved quails with chives. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green salad.
  10. Bon appétit!

4. Tips and advices:

  • I use French, Vietnamese and Indian (citrus, baking powder, papaya paste) meat tenderizers to ensure juicy poultry.
  • Little reminder on how to make papaya paste: Peel a green papaya. Grind the cubed papaya with seeds in a blender, place about 1 tablespoon of papaya paste per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes 3 by 3 into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer.
  • Lemon juice helps balance the sweetness of the sauce.
  • I used chives as garnish. They’re very easy to grow.

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