Greek-Style Quail with Yogurt Sauce

Whole quail is especially good for marinating because the little birds pick up so much flavor as they soak.

Total Time:
30 mins


  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, 5 finely chopped, 1 grated

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning

  • 8 quail (3 1/4 pounds), backbones removed and quail flattened

  • Kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

  • Warm pita bread, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the lemon juice, shallot, chopped garlic, oregano, cumin, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the quail and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 475°. Arrange the quail skin side up on a baking sheet in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 9 to 10 minutes, until golden and just cooked through. Transfer the quail to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the yogurt with the scallion, grated garlic and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve the quail with the yogurt sauce and warm pita bread.

Make Ahead

The yogurt sauce can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy Sauvignon Blancs from Chile can have a real herbal intensity, nice with these oregano-marinated quail.

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