Sweet and Spicy Fried Quail or Dove

Doves and quail are amazing little birds to hunt and eat, and though their meat is quite a bit different from one another, they can be cooked up in a similar fashion due to their diminutive size. 

This recipe uses whole, plucked birds. Before you groan and move on to the next recipe, stop and try it out! Plucking and gutting is a quick and relatively easy process, especially with smaller birds, and the payoff is well worth it. You get much more meat, and those who enjoy eating chicken wings will love the tactile experience of eating the meat off of the bone. 

This sweet and spicy sauce is highly addictive and will leave you licking your fingers and wanting more! 

6 whole doves or quail, plucked

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon Maggi or soy sauce

2 jalapeño peppers, minced 

2 cloves garlic, minced

Oil or lard for frying

Using a sturdy blade or strong kitchen shears, cut along the backbone of each dove or quail to open them up. Now press them flat on the cutting board, breast side up. 

Add the soy sauce to a large bowl and add the birds, tossing them so they get covered in the sauce. Let marinate for about 15-20 minutes. 

Bring several inches of oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 325°F. 

To a medium pot, add the rice vinegar, water, and brown sugar. Mix the cornstarch with the water so it forms a slurry and add it to the pot. Add the Maggi or soy sauce and the jalapeños and garlic. Mix very well, then simmer over medium heat until the liquid thickens into a clinging sauce. 

Working in 2-3 batches, fry the birds in the oil for 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Transfer the fried birds to a large bowl, then pour over the sauce. Toss to coat. 

Spoon over extra sauce to serve, and be sure to eat with your fingers!