Wild game: Bourbon Glazed Quail in “Braising the Wild” and revisiting spatchcocking

Jack Hennessy brings Bourbon Glazed Quail to “Braising the Wild” and revisits spatchcocking..

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Bourbon Glazed Quail in “Braising the Wild.” Credit: Jack Hennessy

Bourbon Glazed Quail in “Braising the Wild.”

Jack Hennessy

I will admit I enjoyed the stretch of wild Irish cooking Jack Hennessy brought to “Braising the Wild.” But now it is back to dealing with the current reality and he recommends plenty of wild birds and bourbon.

Not to mention he revisits spatchcocking, too.

Here is the recipe this week:

BOURBON-GLAZED QUAIL When exercising social distancing, make sure you are stocked up on the essentials: bourbon and birds. This recipe will work with any non-migratory bird, though you’ll need to increase the cook time for larger birds. Additionally, if cooking a bird the size of a pheasant or larger, you may wish to finish cooking the birds in the oven, versus cover the skillet. Spatchcocking is simple and a great way to sear all sides evenly while also reducing the total cook time. It’s also my preferred method for cleaning or dressing quail. I have ham hands, as my wife likes to point out. Dressing birds the size of chukars or smaller is hard for me to manage with my fat fingers without tearing the skin when removing the giblets. When spatchcocking quail, I just cut out the spine and remove the wobbly bits through the back. Rinse off and they’re ready for the pan. In the field, spatchocked birds are my go-to camp cooking method. The birds pictured here were made on a truck tailgate using a Camp Chef stove. It’s an incredibly easy and tasty recipe that’ll leave plenty of bourbon in the bottle to pass around afterward. Ingredients (two servings): 6-8 quail, plucked and spatchcocked 3 medium yellow onions, sliced into rings 2 ounces bourbon Light dusting of kosher salt, ground black pepper, and granulated garlic Sunflower oil (or canola or vegetable) Spatchcock birds by cutting out spine with sharp scissors and splaying breast open to create flat birds. In a medium skillet heated on medium-low, add a thin layer of oil along with sliced onions. Lightly salt and pepper. Stir often and once caramelized, after likely 30-45 minutes, remove from skillet. Turn up heat to medium-high and add very thin layer of oil. Once skillet reaches 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit, add quail, four at a time, skin down. Use a spatula or another heavy skillet to press birds into skillet for best sear. Flip once seared and again press into skillet. Once seared on other side, flip and deglaze skillet with bourbon. Add caramelized onions back to skillet and lower heat to medium. Add a sprinkling of bourbon for good measure and cover for 15 minutes, until legs are fully cooked.

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