Quail A La Mouquin

Quail A La Mouquin

Inspired by the legendary French restaurant in New York frequented by famous writers, artists, newspapermen, politicians, and Wall Street tycoons, Chez Mouquin, Quail a la Mouquin is flavorful recipe that involves cooking quail in white wine and flavored with cloves, bay leaf, cream, cayenne, and chives. This simple recipe makes an elegant meal for an unforgettable dinner party or intimate lunch. Serve with a vintage white wine or champagne for a special occasion.

The quail is sautéed and browned before adding the wine to seal it its juices and natural flavors. Stewed in the wine, it becomes tender, absorbing the moisture from the wine, and developing an exquisite taste. Searing the quail before adding moisture also gives it a nice crisp. Later, the cream is added to the pot gradually creating a sumptuous dish.

The meat of quail is dark and delicate in flavor. Compared to other wild game meats, quail is more subtle and agreeable to the palate that even finicky eaters and children can enjoy. It is easy to overcook quail, and when it is, it becomes tough, rubbery, and loses its scrumptious flavor. Quail should be cooked quickly, and then taken out of the pot while the rest of the ingredients are reduced and only then placed back into the pot and heated on low temperature.

Because quail is smaller than chicken, it cooks fast and makes an excellent quick meal. Thaw frozen quail gradually in the refrigerator, leaving it there overnight or a couple of hours. To reduce the wild gamey taste of quail, soak it in a salt solution or in milk. When the quail has thawed in the refrigerator, leave it out on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes until it comes to room temperature then pat it dry with a towel to promote browning when you sear it.


  • 6 quail
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper (freshly ground)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives

Preparation Instructions

Step 1

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the shallots, bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Step 2

Add the quail and sauté until golden brown. Add the wine. Simmer for half an hour.

Step 3

Using a slotted spatula, remove the quail. Strain the liquid into a pot. A little bit at a time, add the cream.

Step 4

Season with salt, pepper, and a little cayenne pepper. Add the quail. Bring to a boil.

Step 5

Serve sprinkled with chives.

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