Roast quail

Roast quail

Bıldırcın

By
From
Istanbul
Serves
4
Photographer
Steven Joyce

At weekends, the parks and gardens of Istanbul fill with families, meeting to barbecue together, especially where long, narrow strips of grass line the edge of the Bosphorus. Spice-scented smoke wafts over the water late into the evening and these juicy, marinated little birds are a frequently cooked treat. For ease – and because I have fewer chances to barbecue than the residents of sunny Istanbul – I roast them. The skill is to cook them quickly and let them rest before eating to tenderise the flesh.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Quick red pepper paste
lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
8 shallots or baby onions, peeled but left whole
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 oven-ready quail

Method

  1. Mix everything except the quail together in a large bowl, then coat the quails in the marinade. Leave to marinate for an hour or so. Preheat the oven to 220˚C.
  2. Place the marinated quail, lemon wedges, garlic and shallots in an oven tray in a single layer, breast-sides up. Roast for 20–25 minutes, basting the meat once after 15 minutes, or until the birds are golden brown and the skin is crisp. Once they’re cooked, let the quail rest in the pan for five or 10 minutes before serving with the juices spooned over. Serve with bread and kısır salad or green salad.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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