Juicy Roasted Quail Recipe With Potatoes: A Surprising Quick Weeknight French Dinner by Chef Gigi

Juicy Roasted Quail Recipe With Potatoes: A Surprising Quick Weeknight French Dinner

The best thing about quail is it's so simple, fast and delicious! Many people reserve these tiny birds for fancy occasions. Often overlooked, quail is an excellent meal when craving roasted poultry, but you have little time to spend on dinner.

The best way to cook quail is to roast it at a high temperature for a short period. The quail will only partially be done when you take it out of the oven but will finish cooking during resting time wrapped in the foil. This keeps the meat juicy and prevents it from drying out and overcooking. When the quail is done, the meat will still be pink. Don't worry! The quail is cooked and safe to eat when the internal temp reaches 165 degrees F. If the quail is frozen, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes to an hour before cook time and allow it to come to room temperature.

Serve this succulent French recipe with a side salad or steamed vegetable. A hot loaf of crusty French bread would not be frowned upon either. Enjoy!

Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 quail, whole and bone-in (thawed if frozen)
  • 4 - 6 yellow potatoes, cut into small wedges
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 small pieces of sliced orange, with the peel on
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or filtered water
  • 4 small sprigs fresh thyme

Here is how to make it:

  1. Toss the potatoes in olive oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for about 30 minutes. Prepare the quail while the potatoes are roasting.
  2. Pat the quail dry with paper towels. Season inside the cavity with salt and pepper and a tiny sliver of orange inside. Truss up the bird's legs together. Brush the outside with 1/2 of the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top of the quail with thyme leaves, reserving the stems. Place thyme stems on the bottom of a small roasting dish and lay the quail on top. Add the broth or water to the pan.
  3. Roast in a preheated 475-degree F oven for 10 minutes. Open the oven and drizzle the remaining butter or a quick spritz of olive. Giving the potatoes a shake while the oven door is open. Return to roasting for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil to complete its final cooking temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the potatoes and sprinkle them with salt. 

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Quail Cookbooks $5 & Up
Roasting Pans $10 & Up
Olive Oil $4 & Up
Chicken Broth $1 & Up

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Great idea for an alternative to chicken or duck.
Elisa Schmitz
I've never cooked quail before, thinking it was tricky. But this recipe seems so simple, I'm inspired! Chef Gigi

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