Fried Quail with Chipotle Cream Sauce

In many parts of the country, just about any sauce is referred to as “gravy”. It doesn’t matter that the gravy is actually a reduction of port wine, fresh berries and shallot, finished silky-smooth with a touch of butter…it’s still gravy. This simple, um, gravy takes on some smoky-hot Southwestern flavors from chipotle peppers. Use the chipotles sparingly. You can always add more if it’s not quite hot enough. You’ll find them in a small can (packed in adobo sauce – also spicy) in the Hispanic section of your market I like to serve this dish with well-seasoned rice and fresh corn. By the way, quail really must be eaten with your hands. I don’t care what Martha Stewart says.

Fried Quail with Chipotle Cream Sauce


  • 8 quail split in half
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 10 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt I prefer sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • peanut oil for deep-frying
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chilies in adobo sauce minced


  • Combine quail, buttermilk and garlic in a bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Combine flour with next 5 ingredients. Blend sour cream, heavy cream and chipotles. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Remove quail from buttermilk. Dredge in seasoned flour and fry in oil heated to 360 to 375 degrees for about 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce on the side for dipping.

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