Quail, a game bird that weights about 7 oz., is typically cooked whole due to its small size. Because it is made of dark meat that is generally mild in flavor, grilling is an optimal cooking method because it can help impart a smokiness and rich flavor into the meat. Whether you hunt the bird yourself or purchase it commercially, you can cook a flavorful quail right on your own backyard grill.
Cut away the last two tips of the wings and rinse the entire quail under cold water.
Mix together ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, thyme, sage and parsley in a bowl. Coat your quail evenly, cover and refrigerate in a bowl for at least two hours.
Remove your quail from the marinade and allow it to rest at room temperature while you preheat your grill to medium-high.
Season both sides of the quail with butter, salt and pepper. Place it on the grill.
Baste the quail with butter as it cooks to keep the meat from getting dry. Cook for about six minutes on each side or until the outside is golden and brown Test with a meat thermometer.
Take the quail off the grill and allow it to rest for about five minutes before cutting and serving.
For optimal flavor, the Field and Stream website suggests leaving the bones inside your quail. Just be sure to add an additional one or two minutes to the cooking time.
The United States Department of Agriculture warns that undercooked quail can harbor dangerous bacteria. Make sure that you use a thermometer to check the thickest part of the meat -- it should reach at least 165 degrees F. Be careful not to overcook small birds like quail because it can cause the meat to toughen.