Tuesday, January 02, 2007


as a rule, i am not real keen on poultry.

some decades ago, it had flavor. and then it became the target of amerikan agribusiness.

for thanksgiving, i much prefer to prepare a standing rib roast.

chicken in my "growing-up" era was a killer because my mom knew how to fry it. she ruined that technique for me, forever. i retired her cast iron skillet as a tribute.

but when i moved to houston in the early 1970's, there was this family[the jamails] that owned and operated what i determined to be the best grocery store in north america. albert jamail, who managed it up until his secret gambling and womanizing debts came due, did understand ingredients. it was albert who arranged for the supplying of free-range quail, cornish game hens.

i have yet to find the cornish game hens of the quality and flavor that albert jamail provided. but, i think that i am getting close to the quality of the quail.

there is nothing that i like better than quail on the barbie. my receipt.....

2 quail per person. i prefer them with the breast bones, but that is becoming tough to find. don't use the birds from cavendish game farms -- they are quite irresponsible in the way that they ship the birds. they might make you very sick.

though i prefer them "fresh", it is so difficult to learn how "fresh" they are, i now prefer frozen. hole foods supplies them from an ontario, canada game farm. semi-boneless.

and don't ever acquire birds raised at a shooting gallery. they will be tougher than baseballs. birds raised for being shot at - flyers - are unsuitable for eating.

thawing them in the 'frige, before they are completely thawed, put them in doubled gallon ziploc bags. so that you can marinate them for 48 hours.

my marinade[for 4 birds]....

2 whole heads of garlic
4 habanero chiles
2 serrano chiles
2 cherry peppers

liquefy in a blender with 8 oz of tequila

4 oz of toasted sesame oil

the remainder of the blender, fill with sunflower/safflower oil.

1 tablespoon of molasses, honey, or cane sugar syrup.

after immersing them in this marinade, put them back in the 'frige.

prepare them for the barbie this way....

two slices of pancetta. secure it to the breast side with well water-soaked long toothpicks.

use hardwood charcoal.

with the coal red to moving into the white zone, place the birds over the coals breast side up. 4 - 5 minutes.

with the coals into the white zone, flip the birds. lower the coals if you can. another four minutes.

then, take the birds off of direct heat, throw some well-soaked mesquite onto the coals, lower the hood, smoke for 15 minutes.

pull the birds off the grill. just to be on the safe side, finish them in a microwave on high for 1 minute.

before serving, squeeze the fresh juice of a sweet palestine lime onto them.



Blogger Rick Thompson said...

Rick Thompson from Cavendish Game Birds here:

Unfortunately you had a bad experience with our products however we are only human and mistakes do happen, even to the best of us. We've been raising and selling quail to some of this countries finest restaurants and consumers throughout the US for over 15 years now and no-one to my knowledge has ever gotten "sick". For you to make this claim is unfair. I'm sure we offered to make things right as we always do when we make an error.

How did you get to be such an angry person anyway?

For those of you that may read this obscure blog, please note that our quail appear on the menus of many, many of the finest restaurants on both coasts and you should feel completely confident in the quality AND wholesomeness of our products which, by the way, are all processed and packaged under inspection.

And to you, Albert, feel free to contact us again to retry our products. Everyone deserves a second chance.

1:45 AM  
Blogger albertchampion said...

because you were idiots.

no intelligent individual would ever ship fresh birds into texas in the summertime without dry ice and earliest delivery.

you didn't do that.

niman ranch fails to do that as well.

i don't deal with them these days either.

when quail shows up with temperatures exceeding 60 degrees, i don't use it.

yes, i think you gave me credit. still, you ruined my dinner party.

and by the way, it was only inadvertantly that i learned that these birds were shipped fresh.

fresh birds at temps exceeding. a killer idea don't you think.

11:04 PM  

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