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Grilled Georgia Plantation Quail

Posted by: Amanda Sullivan

With Chesnee Peach Hoe Cake With Blackberry Port Reduction

When Chef David Young is at the grill, whatever comes off is sure to have a southern flare. And this Grilled Georgia Plantation Quail is no exception. With hoecakes and blackberry port reduction as a base, the contrast between southern flavors and elegant presentation will make for a perfectly proper dinner in the garden.  

Printable Recipe

For the Quail…
Four semi boneless quail, with wings tips removed.
8 sprigs of Fresh Thyme, leaves only
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Mix these ingredients, except for the quail, salt and pepper.  Place the quail in a shallow dish, in a single layer, and season on both sides with the salt and pepper.   Pour marinade over quail and place in refrigerator.   Turn every 30 minutes…They should marinate about 2 hours, at least.  Overnight would be fine.
For the hoe cakes…
•    1 cup johnny cake meal, from Anson Mills  (it is okay to make recipe with 1 ½ cup plain meal)
•    ½ cup plain yellow corn meal
•    2 teaspoons kosher salt
•    2 tablespoons sugar
•    1 tablespoon baking powder
•    2 large eggs
•    3/4 cup whole milk
•    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1/4 cup more for frying
•    1 cup, about 2 fresh peaches, diced small, skin on
•    ½ cup fresh corn kernels, preferably silver queen
•    A few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, say a tablespoon..

Mix first 5 ingredients in mixing bowl, sifting is not necessary.  Whisk eggs and milk together.  Pour into dry mix and fold together with a spatula.   When well mixed, leaving a little bit of lump, same as you would with pancake batter, fold in peaches, corn, thyme and melted butter.  This will keep for several days if there are any leftovers or if you want to make a day or so ahead.
For the reduction, in a non reactive pan, reduce 2 cups of port by half, with a dozen ripe blackberries in the pot.  When reduced by half, press through a fine sieve and set aside at room temperature.

Preparing the Quail
Grill Quail on a hot grill, beginning with breast side down…The quail will need about two-three minutes per side for a nice medium.   Meanwhile, melt a few tablespoons of butter, over medium high heat, in a nonstick pan for the hoe cakes.  Stir batter and then cook silver dollar sized hoe cakes.  When they bubble on the edges, they are ready to turn.  Flip and cook for a minute or so on second side.   We are looking for a nice golden, mottled brown color.
Drizzle a plate with reduction. Place three hoecakes, shingled in the center of the plat After letting the quail rest for one minute, cut into quarters and arrange on hoecakes and drizzle again with the reduction.  Voila!

**Johnny Cake Meal, along with a vast array of amazing grain products are available at The website is worth a look and the products are amazing!!