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Grape-Grilled Quail w/ Goat Cheese Rounds

Monday, 26 May 2008


Although many Southwest barbecues and grilled meats utilize mesquite, it is not the only aromatic wood to use--experiment with pecan, apple, peach, and grape clippings. If you use charcoal for the main fire, be sure to soak the wood for an hour in water before grilling. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
Main Course
  • 12 quail

  • 2 ancho chiles, seeds and stems removed

  • 2/3 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 6 2-ounce goat cheese rounds

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup dried corn bread crumbs

  • 6 6-inch pieces of thick grape vine clippings, soaked in water

  • Salsa of choice


Cut the wing tips off the quail, then split the birds down the back and remove the backbone. With a knife tip, remove the rib bones from each quail, and then slice open the thigh bones to remove the bones and joint, taking care to keep the skin intact. Open up each quail and press the legs together, securing them with toothpicks.

Simmer the chiles in water for 15 minutes. Place the chiles in a blender along with the olive oil, orange and lime juices, and the garlic and puree. Pour this sauce over the quail and marinate for an hour.

While the quail are marinating, prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire and preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush each goat cheese round with olive oil, coat with corn bread crumbs, and bake for 5 minutes. If you start the baking just when the quail are being grilled, both should be done at the same time.

Add the grape clippings to the coals, arrange the quail skin side down on the rack and grill for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Turn the quail and grill for an additional 2 minutes.

If the skin is not yet crisp, turn once more and grill for an additional minute.

Serve 2 quail on each plate with a goat cheese round and garnished with the salsa.


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