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Quail with Grapes and Grappa

Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

4 servings (serving size: 2 quail and 1/3 cup sauce)

A moist cooking technique keeps these lean birds from drying out. Grappa is an Italian liquor distilled from grape pressings left over after winemaking; cognac is a good substitute. Use red and green grapes for an attractive presentation. Serve with steamed green beans and wild rice tossed with toasted hazelnuts.


  • 1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes
  • 8 (4-ounce) quail, skinned
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 (1-inch) rosemary sprigs
  • 8 (1-inch) thyme sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped prosciutto (about 1 ounce)
  • 3 tablespoons grappa (Italian brandy) or cognac
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • Whole rosemary sprigs (optional)
  • Whole thyme sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 355
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 11.6 g
  • satfat 3.1 g
  • monofat 4.4 g
  • polyfat 2.6 g
  • protein 43.1 g
  • carbohydrate 11.8 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • cholesterol 133 mg
  • iron 8.7 mg
  • sodium 636 mg
  • calcium 34 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cut 1/2 cup grapes in half lengthwise.

  2. Sprinkle quail with salt and pepper. Place 1 (1-inch) rosemary sprig and 1 (1-inch) thyme sprig into cavity of each quail.

  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add quail; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange quail, breast sides up, in pan; add 1/2 cup broth. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 minutes or until done. Place quail on a platter; cover loosely with foil.

  4. Add 1/4 cup broth, prosciutto, grappa, and shallots to pan; cook over medium-high heat 1 1/2 minutes or until shallots are tender, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and whole and halved grapes; cook 2 minutes or until grapes are thoroughly heated. Pour grape mixture over quail; garnish with whole rosemary and thyme sprigs, if desired.