Hot Quail

An adaptation of a popular New South preparation for fried chicken, but here at the Sporting Chef, we use quail. The key is to season your quail BEFORE tossing it in egg and flour to help the seasonings “stick” better.

Hot Quail


  • 4 quail
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco or Texas Pete
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • White bread and sliced pickles for serving


  • Toss quail with black pepper and half of the salt. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.
  • Whisk eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Whisk flour and remaining salt in another large bowl.
  • Fit a Dutch oven with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2". Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 325°. Pat quail dry. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip back into bowl. Dredge again in flour mixture and place on a baking sheet.
  • Fry quail, turning occasionally, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a clean wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Let oil cool slightly.
  • Whisk cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a medium bowl; carefully whisk in 1/4 cup frying oil. Brush fried quail with spicy oil. Serve with bread and pickles.