In Season Now … Italian Roasted Quails With Braised Fennel, Capsicum and Zucchini

Weekend again and looking forward to a somewhat laid-back one. A bit of art painting, catching up on reading and trying a new recipe. Channeling a domestic goddess attitude ala-Nigella, sort of.  Now, this recipe I will be sharing is not a new one. I have made this a few times when fennel bulbs are in season. I love fennel! Either raw in salad or cooked with other vegetables like zucchini and capsicum. Love the fennel’s licorice scent and taste combined with the sweetness of capsicum and zucchini. Quails wrapped in prosciutto are usually what I serve with the braised vegetables. Love the game-y taste of those little birds. Pan-fried until brown all over then place on top of the vegetables for braising in the oven. Lemon wedges added halfway through cooking balances the sweetness. Just before serving, stir pure cream and fresh oregano to finish it off. Now, you are ready for a hearty Italian meal. This recipe serves 2. Allow 1 quail per person. I also used an iron skillet but if you do not have one, a heavy-based roasting pan is suitable to use.

Italian Roasted Quail With Braised Vegetables 1

Italian Roasted Quail With Braised Vegetables 2


  • quail ( 1 per person. I used *Game Farm brand)
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 20g butter
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red capsicum, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthways and thickly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • fresh oregano leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200C degrees (180C degrees fan-forced).
  2. Discard necks from quails. Wash under cold water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Tuck legs along body then wrap body with prosciutto. Secure legs together with a kitchen string, if needed.
  3. Heat butter in skillet. Cook quails until browned all over. Remove quails from skillet.
  4. In same pan, add wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until it has reduced to a tablespoon. Add the garlic, fennel, capsicum and zucchini and stock; return to boil. Place quails on top of the vegetables. Roast, uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the lemon wedges, continue to roast uncovered for another 10 minutes or until quails are cooked through.
  5. Remove quails and garlic from pan. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins into the pan. Stir in the cream and fresh oregano. Season with salt and pepper, according to taste.
  6. Serve quails on vegetables.

*Game Farm quail products are available at Mr. Gordon.




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