Citrus-Glazed Quail with Roasted Peaches, Polenta, and Bitter Greens

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Citrus Glazed Quail

Every week when I went to my grocery store, I saw blood oranges. I kept toying with the idea of getting them, but since I had no clue what to do with them, I wistfully gazed at them and walked by. Then while paging through, Tyler Florence: Stirring the Pot, I saw a recipe that used..what else..blood oranges. It seemed like magic, everything had fallen in place.


You know what happened right? Yep, I went back to the grocery store that weekend, list clutched in hand, only to find neither hide-nor-hair of a blood orange. Not even an old wrinkled one leftover in a bin. So, this was made with plain old regular orange juice, not even fresh squeezed. And then I accidentally forgot the part where you actually glaze the quail. And I didn’t have any bitter greens for garnish. Let’s add this up shall we.. no blood oranges, no bitter greens, and no glazing. Not my finest moment. But you know what, it didn’t matter, it was still wonderful. The combination of the citrus flavored quail, the sweet grilled peaches and the rich cheesy polenta was outstanding.

Citrus-Glazed Quail with Roasted Peaches, Polenta, and Bitter Greens
Serves 4

3 blood oranges, juice only
1/4 cup peach nectar
8 3-ounce semi-boneless quail
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 peaches
1 recipe polenta (see below)
1 bunch bitter greens (for garnish)

Make the glaze, by combing the blood orange juice and the peach nectar in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until it’s reduced and slightly syrupy. Set aside.

Wash the quail with cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the birds with a little oil and season inside cavities and outsides the birds with salt and pepper. Preheat grill to medium. Grill birds for 6 to 8 minutes per side (12-16 minutes total), basting with glaze with a small pastry brush, until skin is golden and crispy.

Meanwhile, split the peaches and remove the stones. Drizzle the halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until grill marks appear, set aside.

Serve quail on polenta with grilled peaches, and garnish with greens.

Polenta – in a large saucepan combine 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt; bring to a boil. Gradually pour in 1 1/2 cups polenta or yellow cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Once the broth is completely absorbed, lower the heat and continue cooking for 20 minutes, whisking often. (The polenta should be thick and smooth.) Add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter; cook another 10 minutes, whisking often. Stir in 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and season with freshly ground black pepper.

This will be my entry for this week’s Tyler Florence Fridays.

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  1. says

    Things like that always happen to me! I had that experience many times with broccoli rabe and tomatillos in Boston. For some reason they’re much more available in NY though. The hallmark of a good recipe, I think, is one that can weather substitutions and mishaps and so this one must fit those criteria!

  2. says

    Your pictures are just fantastic! This recipe sounds scrumptious. Love citrus flavor on anything.
    I will be eyeing the quail in my front yard in a whole new light!!! Ha ha!

  3. says

    You know, sometimes you must do what you have to do. Even if it means doing without blood oranges. And I would have bought some just for the name! Like telling hubby, “Here, have a blood orange.” He’d be perplexed!

    Looks like a great meal. Heating peaches really brings out the flavor, doesn’t it?

  4. says

    That sounds like how I cook! Including that I’d have to say that I used chicken instead of quail (I’ve never even seen quail!). Those grilled peaches look AMAZING. And, of course, I adore polenta, especially cheesy polenta! YUM!

  5. says

    LOL…reminds me of those Epicurious reviews…I changed this and this and this AND didnt use the main ingredient either and it was awful!
    I kid.
    Grilled peaches are good no matter what you pair them with. I just love them.
    Chris Schlessinger of our local East Coast Grill fame does this summer salad of grilled sausages, Grilled Peaches, Grilled Chicken, olives for salt, Grilled peppers, grilled onions all tossed in a balsamic and olive oil fest with shaved pecorino. Amazing. Grilled peaches with reduced balsamic and vanilla ice cream…..
    Grilled peaches and quail…
    How long is that season again?

  6. says

    Our grill works overtime, so it’s always nice when dessert can be found on the grill as well. I guess that’s what I consider grilled peaches to be. (With or without the vanilla ice cream.) I also love polenta, so I will have to try this whole ensemble. It looks delicious.

    Anyway, I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  7. says

    my tastebuds have not yet been introduced to quail, but that doesn’t mean i don’t recognize what an elegant and sophisticated and DELICIOUS plate of food this would be. great combination of tastes and textures—i think the roasted peach is the kicker. :)

  8. says

    I always find that if I don’t buy it right when I see it, it is never there when I go back–very frustrating! Even without everything, it looks really good!

  9. says

    It looks yummy anyway! Next time you see blood oranges, just buy them and eat them. They are superb and available for way too short a time.

  10. says

    Well it certainly looks good, even with out the glaze, the blood orange and the greens. Not sure it could look any better with all those things.

  11. says

    I love polenta with chicken (I’ve never tried quail).

    And I just recently tried blood oranges for the first time – they were really neat!

  12. says

    The same thing happens to me a lot when grocery shopping OR I find it and don’t buy enough : ) This one is on my list of things to make. Your pictures are so pretty. Glad to hear that it was still delicous no matter the ingredients that were missing.

  13. says

    Oh yes, your version sounds divine! I do love grilled peaches and polenta is one of favorites. As for the quail…sure, why not? Elegantly mouth-watering!

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