It is so much fun to adopt European recipes using the best local ingredients. Texas Quail Farms, Inc., founded in 2003 with headquarters in Lockhart, Texas, is the largest state inspected quail processing plant in Texas. Their produce is available at HEB, $9.99 for four frozen whole quails. See recipe Notes below to video instructions or come to my class How to Debone a Chicken/Quail if you are looking for frugal option. Otherwise, the same quail is available already deboned at Whole Foods and Central Market $14.99/lb. It might not be always on display, ask for it.
Young ducks are sold in MT Supermarket, frozen, $13-15 each. They are also available at HEB and Central Market, the same breed as in Asian markets, but for $20-24 each. If you don’t know how to butcher a whole duck yet, buy raw duck breast in Central Market, $13-15 each. These are not very expensive regular (aka Pekin) duck options. If you are really crazy about food and want to step up, shop online for Moulard, Muscovy, or Rohan ducks online.
I serve duck meat stuffed quail with Knöpfle/Spaetzle (German egg noodles) and wild garlic (aka ramps or bärlauch) compound butter, with smoked and caramelized plum slices.
Prepare food processor, pastry bag with a round piping tip (No. 10 or 12), and 16 pieces of precut culinary string, 3-4" long each. Prepare prosciutto slices by cutting them in half to make 8 half-slices. Debone or prepare deboned quail and keep refrigerated until stuffing is ready.
Cut duck meat with fat into smaller pieces. Season with spices, dry herbs, and salt.
Finely grind duck meat in food processor. Add eggs and blend well.
Keep the processor running and slowly pour the cream through the feed tube until cream is completely incorporated. (This is the step when you can test this stuffing for seasoning and adjust it to your taste.) Fill prepared pastry bag with the stuffing and refrigerate until ready to use.
Stuff the quail with prepared duck meat, dividing the stuffing evenly. I usually measure each portion of stuffing visually, making its volume equal to a large chicken egg. Do not overstuff quails, because this stuffing expands during the cooking!
This step helps to form and control the shape of each quail during cooking. Using precut culinary string, tie together wings of each bird. Bend their legs forward against the body and tie them too. Wrap each quail in a half of slice of prosciutto. Use smaller pieces of prosciutto to secure neck and leg openings.
Prepare lined with parchment paper or silicone mat baking pan. Melt clarified butter on medium-high heat and lightly brown quails on all sides. Place quails on baking pan, cover with lid or foil and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400F, cook egg noodles with ramps butter and caramelize smoked plums, and roast quail for 15 minutes or until golden and 145F inside. Remove culinary string before serving.