Quail with Tomato-Basil Beurre Blanc

Don’t let the name run you off. It’s just a wine and butter sauce. Great on fish and light-fleshed game, such as quail, which is what is seen here.

Try it with red wine (beurre rouge) with antlered game and waterfowl – and let me know what you think of it.

If you don’t like cooking with alcohol, that’s absolutely ok, just substitute with another liquid such as a stock, a cooking wine, or any other non-alcohol liquid. And the alcohol cooks off, we just use it for the flavor.

When it comes to wines, I always use wines from my neighbors in Lodi, California – Michael David Winery. 

Want more quail recipes? Visit:

Quail with Citrus: quail-with-citrus

Roasted Quail with Pheasant Sausage Stuffing: roasted-quail-pheasant-sausage-stuffing

Fried Quail with Chipotle Cream Sauce: fried-quail-chipotle-cream-sauce

Quail with Tomato-Basil Beurre Blanc

For best results, brine your quail before cooking.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons shallot peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
  • 6 ounces weight chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/3 cup tomato; peeled seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil minced (or substitute pinch dried basil leaves)
  • 2 quail whole, brined


Cooking the Quail

  • Heat 1/2 cup olive oil to skillet. Add the quail to the skillet breast side down. Season with salt and pepper, or try a Hi Mountain seasoning of choice.
    Brown on both sides about 4 to 5 minutes each. Remove from pan and set aside. Reserve the pan and drippings.

Making the Sauce

  • Using the same pan as what you used to cook the quail, heat wine, shallots and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, uncovered.
    Reduce liquid to a few tablespoons. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in tomato and basil and serve.
  • Note: Do not bring sauce to a boil after butter has been added or it will break!
  • Plate the quail and pour the sauce evenly over each piece.

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