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Grilled Quail with White Sauce

Tangy and creamy, Alabama’s white sauce is most often served with smoked or grilled chicken, but this sauce is delicious on any grilled or smoked meat. Here I have paired it with plump grilled quail that’s perfect for a Super Summer supper.

Note: Few game birds are as versatile, simple to cook, and easy to enjoy as quail. These plump, juicy birds should be the basis for “Game 101,” because they make everyone – from novices to professionals – look like a champion. Grilled, broiled, or sautéed, they are almost impossible to ruin. The medium-dark flesh has a mildly gamey flavor that readily takes to being marinated, stuffed, or highly seasoned. They are small, so allow 1 quail per person for an hors d’oeuvre, and 3 per person for an entrée. Because they are lean, they need to be cooked quickly over high heat and served medium rare to retain their moisture and flavor.


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided use
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, divided use
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce, we used Cholula
  • 2 packs Semi-Boneless Quail
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Make the white sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and vinegar until completely smooth. Whisk in water, Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and a few glugs of hot sauce. Set aside. Note: Sauce can be made a day ahead if desired.
  2. Bring quail out of the refrigerator about 20 mins before you start cooking. Preheat a lightly oiled grill to medium-high.
  3. Pat quail dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, remaining ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ onion powder, and smoked paprika.
  4. Place the quail on the grill breast side down, a few inches apart. Grill for about 3 mins then carefully turn over and continue to grill until birds are just cooked through, about 3-4 mins more. Remove to a platter to rest for 5 mins.
  5. Dress with sauce and serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

Recipe Tips: This sauce is traditionally used with smoked chicken and is delicious on all manner of smoked and grilled meats.

Pair with: Chardonnay and quail pair well together. If with white sauce, Pinot Noir or Merlot work well.

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