Chef Jamie McAfee, executive chef and manager of the Pine Bluff Country Club, was just 14 when he started cooking hamburgers, corn dogs and other foods by the pool at the Delta Country Club in McGehee. His father, the long-time chef at Delta Country Club had encouraged him and it led to what McAfee calls “a lifelong love of cooking and a decision to follow my dad’s footsteps.”
Being from McGehee, it was only natural that McAfee – a Certified Executive Chef and an instructor at Pulaski Tech’s Culinary Arts Institute – grew up hunting the wide variety of game animals available in the Arkansas Delta. Bobwhite quail are among the game animals he learned to hunt and among those that often grace the dinner table when he’s cooking today. He took the time to share his recipe for roast quail with us and let us taste the delicious results.
Try this on your own and let us know what you think. If wild quail are unavailable, store-bought quail can be substituted.
Roast Quail with Beurre Blanc
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 quail, ready to cook
1-1/2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup cold butter
- Combine the rosemary, parsley, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and vegetable oil in a non-metallic bowl. Set aside 20 percent of the mixture. Add quail to the remainder and marinate 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat a grill, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mark the quail on the hot grill, then place in an oven-safe skillet. Pour 1 cup of the white wine over the quail and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the quail to a plate and allow the birds to rest while you make the sauce.
- Using the skillet in which the quail was cooked, combine the reserved marinade, the remaining 1/2 cup white wine and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Heat, stirring often, to reduce, continuing until 80 percent of the liquid is gone. Add the cold butter to the reduction. Once this is incorporated, the sauce is complete and ready to serve over the cooked quail. Yield: 2-4 servings.