I don’t really like quail; awful, I know. When we do have quail at home, I feel bad eating it because all I eat are the legs and thighs, so why kill a whole bird if I won’t eat it all?
This recipe however, made me happily eat the entire quail, and then another!It is tangy yet earthy and savory spicy and sweet all at the same time.
The longer it marinates, the better the flavor.
Cutting along both sides of the backbone then flattening it by pressing down on the breast bone makes cooking these little birds (or any bird) so much faster.
The natural sugars in the pomegranate molasses carmelizes really quickly in the pan, so they are just seared for color in the pan before completing the cooking process in the oven.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 spatchcocked quail
1 tsp salt and pepper
grated zest of 1 lemon, to serve
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
Bash the seeds using a mortar and pestle; add the garlic and bash to a paste.
Add the olive oil and pomegranate molasses; mix well.
Put the quail in a single layer in a baking dish.
Pour the marinade over the quail, toss, cover, and marinate from 1 hour to overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a hot pan, sear the quail skin-side first until seared and golden and sticky.
Return to the pan, single layer, and skin-side up.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until cooked throughout and golden and sticky.
Serve sprinkled with grated lemon zest and chopped fresh coriander.