Roasted quail with bitter marmalade

Roasted quail with bitter marmalade

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The simplest of sauces, with the sweet tartness of the marmalade boosted by the sherry and soy, adds sparkle to the subtle flavour of these little game birds.

Pat Alburey

Serves: 4 

  • 8 fresh quail
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup bitter orange marmalade or kumquat marmalade
  • ½ cup medium dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 8 fresh kumquats
  • To garnish: 4 small sprigs watercress

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:55min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Rinse the quail under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Peel and crush the garlic and combine with the marmalade, sherry, soy sauce and oil. Rub birds inside and out with this mixture.
  3. Place the quail in a lightly oiled baking dish and roast for 25 minutes, basting occasionally, until the juices from the thickest part of the thigh run clear and not pink when pricked with a skewer.
  4. Meanwhile, halve the kumquats and sear in a hot frying pan for no more than 15–20 seconds.
  5. Arrange the quail and the kumquat halves on warmed plates. Pour over the pan juices and garnish each plate with watercress.


These roasted quail are best served alongside some steamed Basmati rice rather than potatoes, with a small salad of bitter greens, such as rocket and watercress, on the side.


good source of vitamin B group, and iron.

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