Grilled Spiced Quail With Chocolate Gravy

 Courtesy of Garden & Gun

Courtesy of Garden & Gun

Whether you hunt your bird in the wild or in the grocery store, grilled quail is a country classic. The light bitterness of the chocolate gravy compliments the broad flavours of the meat. The bird works best semi-boned with an aggressive spice rub, grilled quickly over a hot flame and drizzled in chocolate sauce. 

1 tbsp. coriander

1 tsp. cumin seeds

5 allspice berries

3 tbsp. smoked paprika

1 tbsp. benne seeds 

1 large clove garlic

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup canola or other neutral oil

¼ cup orange juice

4 quail, semi-boneless

2 to 4 large peanuts

Chocolate Gravy

4 tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1¼ cups whole milk

2½ tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. salt

¹⁄³ tsp. cayenne

2 tbsp. butter

Toast coriander, cumin seeds, and allspice berries in a sauté pan until fragrant. Cool two or three minutes, then grind using a mortar and pestle until powdery. Place ground spices in a small mixing bowl and add paprika and benne seeds. Mix well. Chop garlic, sprinkle with salt, and mash into a paste using the side of a knife. Add garlic, canola oil, and orange juice to the spices and mix thoroughly. Snip wing tips off quail. Pour rub over quail, turning to coat. Marinate at least one hour but no longer than six hours. Prepare a medium-hot grill and cook each bird for seven to nine minutes, turning once, until medium-rare.

Gravy preparation
Combine first six ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium until thickened, whisking often to reduce lumps. Remove from heat and stir in butter. (The sauce can be reserved while the quail cooks. Just loosen with a few tablespoons of water as you reheat it.) To serve, pool a bit of gravy on a plate, top with a quail, drizzle with chocolate gravy, and then, using a micro plane, shave peanuts over each bird.