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    Sticky Quail with Couscous Stuffing

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    Sticky Quail with Couscous Stuffing

    A sweetly spiced butter and a tender bird make for a supper that’s more than good enough to share with friends. Serve with an undressed watercress-and-orange salad.

    • Preparation time: 50 minutes, plus marinating
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 50 g butter
    • 3 tsp ras el hanout
    • 2 tbsp clear honey
    • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 20g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
    • 4 quail, cleaned
    • 3 red onions, ½ finely chopped, ½ sliced
    • 100 g wholegrain coucous
    • 200 ml hot chicken stock
    • 2 tbsp walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
    • 3 tbsp chopped coriander
    • ½ pomegranate, seeds


    1. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil with the butter, ras el hanout, honey, lemon zest, garlic and ginger. Smear half this mixture over the quail and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 24 hours.
    2. Melt the remaining spice paste in a small saucepan and fry the chopped onion for 5 minutes, until softened. Remove from the heat and add the couscous, lemon juice, 150ml stock, 1 tbsp walnuts and the coriander. Season, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff up the grains with a fork.
    3. Fry the sliced onions in the remaining oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan or roasting tin over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the remaining stock and set aside. (This can all be done up to 24 hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.)
    4. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5; bring everything to room temperature. Stuff the birds with the couscous mixture, reserving any extra, and season. Sit the quail on the onions in their pan. Roast for 25–30 minutes, until bronzed. Stir the remaining couscous in with the onions; rest for 5–10 minutes, tented with foil. Serve sprinkled with the pomegranate seeds and remaining walnuts.

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