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Grilled Quail with White Polenta

Howard L. Puckett
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 quail, about 1/3 cup polenta, and 1 lemon wedge)
The most delicately flavored of all game birds, quail needs very little embellishment. You can use game hens in place of the quail, if you prefer. This company-worthy recipe is inspired by Chef Mark Monette of The Flagstaff House in Boulder, Colorado, who regularly features game on his menu.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup white cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 (4-ounce) semiboneless quail
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 213
  • caloriesfromfat 26 %
  • fat 6.2 g
  • satfat 2.6 g
  • monofat 1.7 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 21.4 g
  • carbohydrate 14.7 g
  • fiber 1.1 g
  • cholesterol 68 mg
  • iron 4.2 mg
  • sodium 388 mg
  • calcium 90 mg

How to Make It

  1. Prepare grill.

  2. Bring milk and half-and-half to a simmer over medium-high heat in a small, heavy saucepan. Gradually add 1/4 cup cornmeal, stirring with a whisk. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes or until polenta is thick and creamy, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Keep warm.

  3. Place the quail, breast side down, on a cutting surface. Cut the quail in half lengthwise along backbone, cutting to, but not through, other side. Sprinkle the quail with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and minced parsley. Place the quail on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Discard skin. Serve the quail with polenta and lemon wedges. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.