Grilled Quail with White Polenta

Howard L. Puckett

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.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 quail, about 1/3 cup polenta, and 1 lemon wedge)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 213
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Fat: 6.2g
  • Saturated fat: 2.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
  • Protein: 21.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 14.7g
  • Fiber: 1.1g
  • Cholesterol: 68mg
  • Iron: 4.2mg
  • Sodium: 388mg
  • Calcium: 90mg

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)

Preparation

  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.
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