Butterflied quail with orange and barley salad recipe


Barbecuing quail and being given leave to eat with your fingers really delights me (though make sure you have a finger bowl close by). Here, the vino cotto marinade gives the quail a quick burnish that really accentuates the flavour. The barley salad with orange and lemon is the essence of spring and could be paired with any meat or poultry cooked on the barbecue.

  • Yield: 2 Servings


  • 2 x 320 g jumbo quail
  • 2 tablespoons vino cotto or balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Rocket leaves, to serve
Orange and Barley Salad
  • ½ cup (100 g) pearl barley
  • 3 tablespoons currants
  • ½ cup (125 ml) verjuice or water
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 orange, cut into thin slices, seeds removed and each slice cut into eighths
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond oil
  • 1 Finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. To prepare the quail, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut down either side of the spine, then discard the spine. Place the quails, skin-side up, on a workbench and press down firmly with your hand to flatten. Place in a shallow bowl. Combine the vino cotto and olive oil in a bowl, then pour over the quail and marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, turning halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the salad, place the barley in a saucepan and cover well with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40–50 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, place the currants and verjuice or water in a bowl and stand for 45 minutes to rehydrate. Drain the barley, then place in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients and combine well.
  3. Heat a barbecue flat plate to high. Add the quail, skin-side up, and cook for 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the quail and cook, skin-side down, for another 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove and rest, skin-side down, for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve the quail and any resting juices with the barley salad and rocket drizzled with a little olive oil. Don’t forget a finger bowl.

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