Southern Fried Quail is a delicacy straight out of my childhood. Simply seasoned, deep fried quail.
These Southern Fried Quail are straight out of my experience growing up in rural south Georgia from the late 1950s through the early '70s. It was a completely different world from today.
Granted, we were somewhat isolated in our little corner of the state. There was one small town (pop. about 2000) and the rest of the citizens were widely scattered throughout the various farms in the county.
There were no cell phones, no computers, no video games. We got three television channels and then only if the antenna was positioned just right. Life was slower, much more mellow and there was time. Time to share with family and friends. Time to relax. And time to just play.
Living Closer to Nature
I've talked before about how we spent long, hot summers gathering everything possible from the garden and freezing or canning it to use during the winter. Back then in our little corner of the world, people grew much of what they ate. There were always peas to be picked and shelled. Butterbeans, too.
And of course, the always dreaded corn shucking. That wasn't my favorite because you had to do it outside where the heat and mosquitoes tormented you until your task was finished.
We'd snap green beans, blanch and freeze them. And the same for squash. Summer also was the time for making pickles. Bread and butter pickles were always my favorite.
Hunting and Fishing
Besides gardening and growing vegetables, people raised their own cows and pigs and they also hunted and fished. All the men in my family were hunters and fishermen and they kept our tables and freezers supplied with fish, game and birds year round.
We had a steady supply of catfish, bream, and trout along with venison, dove, and quail. Quail was my favorite of the wild game because they had less of that gamey taste.
A while ago I started craving some southern fried quail. It had been years since I'd had any and since we don't have as many hunters in the family now I started looking around for a source. To make a long story short, I finally found whole farm-raised quail at Whole Foods.
Let me tell y'all something - quail are not inexpensive when you purchase them at Whole Foods. Whew! There was some sticker shock for sure! And to think we used to have them for the cost of a few shotgun shells.
How to Make Southern Fried Quail
Rinse the quail and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Generously season each bird with salt and pepper both inside and out.
Place the quail in a pan and sprinkle over a generous amount of flour, turning the quail in the flour to thoroughly coat the birds.
Meanwhile, in a well-seasoned black iron skillet, heat the oil. You’ll want the oil to a depth of about 1-inch for frying the quail.
Add the prepared quail to the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
More Southern Heritage Recipes on Never Enough Thyme:
Quail recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Buttermilk Fried Quail from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
- Bacon Wrapped and Glazed Grilled Quail from The Grillin' Fools
- Buttermilk Fried Quail from Silver Oak Food & Wine
- Braised Quail with Mushrooms from Good Food Stories
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Southern Fried Quail
- 8 whole quail
- Salt and pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Peanut oil
- Rinse the quail and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.
- Generously season each bird with salt and pepper both inside and out.
- Place quail in a pan and sprinkle over a generous amount of flour, turning the quail in the flour to thoroughly coat the birds.
- Meanwhile, in a well-seasoned black iron skillet bring enough oil for frying up to temperature. You’ll want oil to a depth of about 1-inch.
- Add prepared quail to the hot oil and fry turning occasionally until golden brown all over.
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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