Last month I bought delicious sausage stuffed quails from Dai Due Butcher Shop, a local artisan company based here in Austin. That day I went to the farmers’ market to splurge on something for an easy meal at home. Dai Due didn’t have a large selection that day, and I thought the sausage-stuffed quails sounded kinda boring. I bought them anyways, and I was SO wrong! The quails were stuffed with Dai Due’s own outstanding sausage, and the meat was moist with a slight herbal undertone.
I stumbled upon two frozen quails and link of homemade Italian sausage in my quest to clean out my freezer. Score! Of course my mind wandered back to eating the magical stuffed quails that night. I have no idea how they made them, but I did my best to recreate them at home.
Sausage Stuffed Quails
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 cups water
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 semi-boneless quails
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 link sweet italian sausage
1. In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the water, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer to dissolve the salt. Turn off the heat and let the brine return to room temperature. Place the quails in the brine, and then place the pot in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Heat the olive oil in a skillet with the red pepper flakes. Add the onion and cook until golden. Next add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Combine the onion, garlic, and breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Squeeze the sausage from the casing and mix to combine all the ingredients evenly.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Stuff the sausage into the cavities of the quails.
5. Pat the quails dry with paper towels to ensure a crisp skin. Rub with olive oil and season with black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
These quails are best roasted over a bed of root vegetables like carrots, beets, or potatoes. They take longer to cook than the quails, so it’s best to cook them for 30 minutes before placing the quails in the oven. The juices from the sausage will mix with the vegetables, making a satisfying one skillet meal.