There is nothing that gets the heart beating faster than busting a covey of quail and the sudden whirring of dozens of pairs of wings right next to you. Whew baby, it is hunting season! This recipe works equally well for store bought birds, so even if you don’t have the opportunity to hunt quail, you can enjoy the delicate flavor of this tasty game bird.



  • 1 12 ounce can Dr. Pepper

  • ¼ cup Bourbon Whiskey

  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning


  • 6 Quail

  • Kosher salt

  • Fresh ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup apricot jam

  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

Preparation Method

The quail need to be marinated for 6-8 hours. To make the marinade blend 1 can of Dr Pepper soda with ¼ cup of American Bourbon Whiskey. Add in a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning and stir until dissolved. Put this into a gallon zip lock bag and prepare the quail.

If you have some fresh quail and just breasted them out instead of saving the whole bird, they will work perfectly, but you may need a few extra for this recipe.

I eat quail often, and have found a ready supply at a local Asian market. Some supermarkets and on-line retailers will carry whole frozen quail. They are excellent stand-ins for wild birds.

Spatchcock the quail using a pair of kitchen shears. Place the whole quail, breast-side-down, on a cutting board. Using the shears, cut away the backbone and discard it. Then, flip over the bird and press down to flatten it.

Add the quail to the marinade, seal the bag and refrigerate 6-8 hours.

Remove the birds from the marinade, pat dry, salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Prepare the glaze by combining the apricot jam, maple syrup, and the garlic chili sauce in a small sauce pan. Warm over low heat and stir until blended, remove from heat.

Heat the grill to medium, or 350 degrees F. Place the quail on the grill skin side down, then brush some of the glaze over each bird. The skin will brown nicely in about a minute, so pay attention and flip the birds as soon as they get a nice color.

Brush the rest of the glaze onto the birds and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes more. Remove to a plate to rest.

I often serve these tasty treats over a bed of dirtry rice and some roasted acorn squash.

I would pair this dish with an American Pale ale or a California Rose’.