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Crispy Smoked Quail Salad

Yield 8 servings


  • Hickory chunks
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 8 quail, breasts deboned
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 cups gourmet salad greens
  • Bourbon Dressing
  • 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced
  • Pickled Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery hearts
  • Spiced Pecans

How to Make It

  1. Soak wood chunks in water 1 hour.

  2. Combine peanut oil and next 3 ingredients in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add quail. Seal and chill 1 hour, turning occasionally.

  3. Remove quail from marinade, discarding marinade.

  4. Prepare charcoal fire in smoker; let burn 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Drain wood chunks and place on coals. Place water pan in smoker; add water to depth of fill line.

  6. Place quail on lower food rack; cover with smoker lid. Smoke 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes.

  7. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl just until blended.

  8. Pour vegetable oil to a depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat oil to 375°.

  9. Hold quails by legs, and dip into batter, coating thoroughly. Fry quail in batches in hot oil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

  10. Toss greens with 1/4 cup Bourbon Dressing; place on individual serving plates. Top each with a quail; divide pear slices and remaining ingredients evenly among salads. Serve with remaining dressing.