Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

Quail with Grapes and Grappa

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.

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2002

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


  • 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)


Cut 1/2 cup grapes in half lengthwise.

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

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.

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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 355
  • Calories from fat: 29%
  • Fat: 11.6g
  • Saturated fat: 3.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Protein: 43.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 11.8g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Cholesterol: 133mg
  • Iron: 8.7mg
  • Sodium: 636mg
  • Calcium: 34mg

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Quail with Grapes and Grappa Recipe