Stuff a quail with leftovers? It may sound crazy, but the best stuffings are made out of those fridge dwellers that are already cooked.
A basic rule of thumb is to always add binders to your stuffing: egg and starch (breadcrumbs, rice, potato, etc). This will also allow the quail to cook quickly and not dry out. Brine the quail ahead of time or simply apply a liberal seasoning inside and out with salt and pepper.(See our guide to brines)
A few “on the fly” quail stuffings
For each, combine your ingredients and bind with raw egg. The stuffing should be firm enough to mold into small football-shaped portions to easily slip inside the semi-boneless quail. If the stuffing seems wet, form your footballs and set them up in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Use one egg per 2 quail.
Crumbled cornbread + shredded cheddar + jalapeño + raw egg
Potatoes (mashed, roasted, whatever) or rice + chorizo + raw egg
Crumbled Italian sausage + breadcrumbs (or croutons!) + Parmesan + raw egg
Chinese takeout fried rice + raw egg
Stuffing formed into football shape, with quail legs crossed and wings tucked.
Stuffed quail fresh from the oven.
Semi-boneless quail can be sliced across the whole body, with the breast bone already removed.
Prepping and cooking the stuffed quail
To prepare the quail for stuffing, use the tip of your knife to make a small slice in one leg. Then, cross the other leg over and push it through the hole. Tuck the wings back behind the shoulders.
Fill the seasoned quail with your stuffing ball and coat with oil. You can then brown in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or gently grill for about the same time. If the filling is hot, your bird is done!