Grilled Quail with Plums

A springtime recipe perfect for entertaining!

Grilled Quail with Plums

Grilled Quail with Plums, Hibiscus Pickled Shallots & Baby Kale

Cooking quail is easier than you might think. They marinate quickly, and you can grill them to crispy-smoky perfection with no boning and virtually no prep. Here, we rub quail with spices and stuff them with fruit. Succulent summer plums help plump the birds on the grill and infuse them with juicy goodness from the inside. We love the technique of tossing kale with olive oil and salt to wilt it a bit, and then resting the grilled quail right on top of it, which warms and wilts the greens as it dresses them with the juices from the quail and the plums. To tie it all together, we finish the dish with quick-pickled shallots, a drizzle of balsamic, and some crumbled blue cheese. Piled on a platter and passed at the table, this is a great choice for a casual but extra-special summer dinner that you can make in a matter of minutes.

SERVES 4

For the hibiscus pickled shallots:

1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 large shallots

2 teaspoons ground sumac

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup rice oil or other neutral-flavored oil

6 semi-boneless quail (about 1 1⁄2 lb total)

4 small plums (1⁄2 lb total), halved and pitted

6 oz baby kale

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 oz Point Reyes Bay Blue cheese or other mild, creamy cow’s milk blue cheese, crumbled

4 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar

 

To pickle the shallots: To make the pickling liquid, in a small pot,

combine the red wine vinegar, hibiscus, sugar, and salt, and bring to a

boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the shallots into 1/4-inch-thick circles, separate into rings,

and put into a small bowl. Strain the pickling liquid through a fine-mesh

sieve held over the shallots. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 1 hour,

or preferably overnight. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

To grill the quail and plums: Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for direct

cooking over high heat. Brush the grill grate clean.

In a small bowl, stir together the sumac, salt, ginger, pepper, and rice oil.

Coat the quail with this mixture. Toss the plums with 2 teaspoons salt.

Place a plum half in the cavity of each quail, with the skin side of the

plum touching the breast side of the quail.

Place the quail, breast side down, on the hottest part of the grill. Place

the remaining plum halves, flesh side down, on the grill at the same time.

Cook the quail and plums for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, on a serving platter toss the kale with the olive oil and

1/2 teaspoon salt, coating evenly. Let sit while the quail are cooking.

Flip the quail and plums and cook for 2 minutes longer, then flip the quail

back to the breast side for 1 more minute. Remove both the quail and

plums from the grill and arrange them directly on top of the kale. Let rest

for 2 minutes.

To serve: Garnish the platter with the pickled shallots and blue cheese

and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.

Pairs perfectly with our Copain Les Voisins Pinot Noir

This Pinot is bursting with fruity, floral, and sweet spice flavors balanced with

a touch of smoke—a fine match for the grill-charred quail, plums, and hibiscus.

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