Quail and Sausage with Grape Sauce


Author: Bob and Robin Young

Source: Adapted by Robin Young

Web Page: www.rockinrs.com, http://boisefoodieguild.wordpress.com


The long prep time is due to the quail resting in the refrigerator. The grapes we used were from our backyard and were a mix of red and white grapes. They are from some very old vines - 75 years?

Author Notes

The recipe calls for Quail. If you can not find quail, then try with Cornish Game Hens or Skinless Chicken Breasts.

Degree of Difficulty

Degree of Difficulty: Easy


Servings: 4




6 oz


Kosher Salt



Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Fennel Seeds


lbs small

White, Red or Black Grapes, stemmed, at least two-thirds of which are seedless varieties

Balsamic or Red Wine vinegar


Sausages, preferably fennel sausage



For seasoning quail (for the best flavor, do this step 12 to 24 hours in advance): If using whole quail, first cut off the feet at the knee joint and the head at the base of the neck. (You can double-wrap and freeze these meager trimmings for a future bird stock.) Season the quail evenly all over with salt, cover loosely, and refrigerate.


Warm about ¼ cup of the olive oil with the fennel seeds in a 3-quart sautè pan over medium heat. Add the grapes and stir regularly as the grapes sizzle and release their fruity aroma, until the skins begin to split and the grapes yield their juice.


Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until the grape sauce has a little body, 20 to 30 minutes. You should have about 2 cups. Taste. If the grapes are quite sweet, add a pinch of salt and/or a dribble of vinegar.


Warm about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Wipe the quail and sausages dry, then place in a pan. They should sizzle on contact. Brown the quail and sausages evenly, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat, tilt the pan, trapping the quail and sausages behind tongs or a strainer, and pour off the excess fat.


Add the grapes. They will see the regally as they bubble up around the quail and sausages - a moment to look forward to when making this dish. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until firm, like a ripe peach, another 12 minutes or so, turning the quail and sausages a few times to ensure even cooking.


Uncover and simmer to reduce the sauce to a rich, jammy consistency. Taste and correct with salt or vinegar.

Cooking Times

Preparation Time: 12 hours and 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 13 hours and 15 minutes