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Grilled Quail with Fennel and Yogurt

Justin Chapple

This week in the F&W Test Kitchen, we seized a pre-weekend opportunity to use a grill for this terrific quail dish from Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria in New York City. Smillie marinates quail in an herbaceous mixture of parsley, oregano, kaffir lime leaves, garlic, chiles, orange juice and toasted spices, which lends tons of flavor to the meat and provides the basis for a perfectly crispy crust. Quail is super-lean and is best served medium-rare, so these little birds only took a few minutes per side over a scorching fire. At his restaurant, Smillie serves the quail with puffed cracked farro and roasted kumquats, but for testing purposes, we tasted it alongside shaved fennel and yogurt.

This recipe is for a future book project, but to experiment with something just as interesting and delicious, try this recipe for Chinese-inspired Grilled Quail with Goji Berries and Pine Nuts from 2012 Best New Chef Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco.

Related: F&W's Ultimate Guide to Summer Grilling

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