Quail is a wonderful candidate for sous vide cooking, since its lean delicate meat risks drying out when cooked conventionally. An additional trick for the best results is to flatten out the wee birds before cooking them. The easiest way to do this is spatchcocking (if you can say this or shuttlecock without tittering, you’re 100% more mature than we are), which simply means removing the backbone so that the bird lies flat. Doing this ensures faster cooking, but more importantly it makes for better browning.
With most of the skin flattened into a single surface, transforming it into crispy, blistered goodness is that much more efficient. To further bolster the yumminess, we rub the quails with a mixture of brown sugar and spices (we used garam masala, but you can feel free to get creative—anything from chili powder to berbere would work great), before searing them on high heat to form a wonderfully flavorful crust.
If you’ve ever shied away from cooking these diminutive fowl for fear of not getting things right, try this recipe to see how easy delicious, succulent results can be—no reason to quail!