We're really into quail these days, especially fried after a soak in buttermilk. But since I hate to do much of anything the same way twice, this time around I tinkered with a few things, and came up with an excellent idea for a fancier future version, using a quasi-legal ingredient that I just stumbled upon. They soaked in buttermilk, just like always, and had a dredge in seasoned flour before frying. I made a sautée/braise of red cabbage and turnip with wine and cider vinegar to go with, and used the hot oil to make chips from a few leftover king oyster mushrooms as an extra special garnish.
But man, these little birds. They're so freaking tasty. And lazy man that I am, I love buying them semi-boneless; they're like little chicken-fried lollipops. And best of all, unlike a chicken, you can't gorge on them because they're too tiny. One quail = one serving. Unless you make more of them in the first place, but that would be wrong. My next dinner party is going to feature these tiny dinosaurs as well as I can possibly make them, including a condiment that flirts with danger and intrigue. Stay tuned.