2000s Recipes + Menus

Quail Escabeche

Serves6 (first course)
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:1 hr
May 2009
This marinated quail has a well-balanced acidic bite to it. Chef Frank Camorra prefers to use Chardonnay vinegar for this dish, a popular tapas plate at MoVida; if you can’t find it, try Champagne vinegar, which is often made from Chardonnay grapes.
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 Turkish or 2 California bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup good-quality Chardonnay vinegar or Champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 semiboneless quail, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped curly parsley
  • Heat 1/3 cup oil in a 3 1/2- to 4-qt heavy saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Cook onion with 1/2 tsp salt, covered, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and add carrot, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and water and return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Whisk together flour and 1 tsp salt in a shallow bowl. Pat quail dry and dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 1/3 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry quail in batches, turning once, until golden, about 6 minutes per batch, transferring quail with a slotted spoon to a plate as cooked. Add quail to vegetable mixture and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves and stir in parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Cooks’ note: Quail escabeche improves in flavor if made 1 day ahead and chilled (covered once cool).
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