I love quail. Especially the semi-boneless variety, since my fine-detail butchering skills wouldn't do anywhere near this good a job without mangling a whole lot of cute little birds. And they defrost really fast in a bowl of tepid water, making a four-pack an excellent choice to grab from the freezer on an evening when time is fleeting. Once mostly thawed, I put the quail in a container full of goat whey to which I had added some salt. It's a nice alternative to buttermilk, and was just sitting there waiting to be useful. As we start making more cheese, I have no doubt that finding uses for whey will become a consuming passion.
From the garden, I picked a bucket of peas and pulled some baby carrots and herbs. I diced a couple of red potatoes and the carrots, sautéeing them in a pat of butter with garlic, onion, and a bunch of marjoram, then added a splash of white wine and let it steam, covered, for a couple of minutes. I dredged the quail in coarse local polenta seasoned with salt and smoked paprika and fried them until brown and crisp. Drained, cut in half, and seasoned with shredded oregano, they made for a pretty wonderful late-spring dinner; comforting, yet still somewhat light, and served warm, the result was a good fit to the cooler weather we've been having lately. Another thing to love about quail: they're so small that there's not much chance of over-indulging, which can be a real issue when it comes to fried birds.