Roasted Quail Tacos

Ingredients

 

Quail

4 skin-on, bone-in quail

Kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

12 sprigs fresh thyme

12 cloves garlic smashed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

¼  cup water

butcher’s thyme

 

Tacos

Corn tortillas

Pickled Nopales

Cotija Cheese

Fresh Epazote

 

Preparation

 

Preheat oven to 450°

 

Slice through the breast plate of the quail leaving the backbone intact so the bird can be laid flat. Season skin side with salt, pepper, coriander, cinnamon and paprika. Flip quail over and repeat on inside. Place 3 cloves of smashed garlic and 3 sprigs of fresh thyme in each bird and tie with butcher’s twine.

Heat vegetable oil in a 12" cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Place quail in skillet and cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high; flip over and continue cooking another 3 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and cook 2 more minutes. Flip quail and continue cooking about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and let cool for 10 minutes. Untie the quail and place the smashed garlic on a cutting board. Remove the skin, then pull and cut the meat off the bones. Place the skin and meat on the cutting board with the garlic and roughly chop. Place the quail and garlic in a medium saucepan and add ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon coriander ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and mix together. Simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer quail to serving bowl. Spoon into warmed corn tortillas. Garnish with Cojita cheese, pickled nopales, fresh apazote and hot sauce.