Tequila Lime Quail Tacos
- 6 quail
- ½ cup tequila
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons corn oil or other neutral-flavored oil
- 8 crushed pequin chiles or 1 tablespoon crushed chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (regular chile powder will do)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- some more corn oil for brushing the birds
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 firm, ripe avocado
- Lime wedges and cilantro leaves for garnish
- Remove the backbone from the quail using a sharp knife or poultry shears. Discard the bones or save them to make stock. Once you’ve removed the backbones, place the quail, bone-side down, on a cutting board and press down on them with the heel of your hand to flatten them. You’ll feel the breastbone crack.
- Combine the tequila, lime juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, chiles, salt, cumin, chile powder and cilantro in a bowl and mix them together well. Combine the marinade with the quail in a heavy duty Ziploc bag, push the air out of the bag and seal it. Put the bag in your refrigerator and marinate the quail for at least one or two hours, turning them once or twice. (You can marinate them overnight if you like.)
- Get your charcoal or gas grill going at medium-high. If you’re using a gas grill, use mesquite chips wrapped in aluminum foil; if you’re cooking with charcoal, place one or two chunks of mesquite on the hot coals just before you start to cook.
- Remove the quail from the marinade and pat them dry. Brush them with some oil and give them a light coating of salt and pepper. When your fire is hot, put the quail on the grill, bone side down. Cover the grill and cook the quail for four minutes. Turn it over and cook it for another four minutes, or until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the meat is cooked to a core temperature of 160F.
- Remove the quail from the grill and while it’s resting, peel the avocado. Serve the quail garnished with a few cilantro leaves, a couple of slices of avocado and a lime wedge.
- Makes six appetizers or three first-course servings
The Prairie's End Hunt Club http://texasbirdhunt.com/