This October I went on my very first quail hunt. We ended up with 12 total, just enough for a meal! I've never had quail before so I experimented with it and tried it a couple of different ways to see how I like it. The recipe is intended for the whole quail breast, but we cut the meat off of the bone on a few and fried them that way, similar to nuggets. I personally preferred it that way, my husband liked it left on the bone (which is definitely easier and quicker). If you decide to make these into nuggets, use less oil and don't fry them as long. Once they are floating in the oil & golden brown, they are done.
-8 to 16 quail breasts
-2 cups buttermilk
-2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
-2 teaspoons paprika
-1 Tablespoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon ground white pepper
-2 cups flour
-1 Tablespoon salt
-3 cups vegetable oil
Mix the buttermilk with all of the spices (except the salt). Dip the quail in the mixture and then set in a covered container for 1-8 hours.
When you are ready to fry, pour the oil in a large pan - I prefer a 10" cast iron pan - and heat over medium-high heat. You'll want enough oil so that it almost submerges the quail breasts.
Meanwhile, take the quail out of the buttermilk and let it drain in a colander. Don't shake the colander, just set the quail in it and leave it there.
Test the oil temperature by sprinkling a little flour into it. When it's ready, the flour will immediately sizzle.
Pour the flour and salt into a plastic baggie and shake to combine. Put a few of the quail into the bag and shake to get it coated in flour. Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes on one side. Turn the quail over and fry for another 3 to 4 minutes. You will probably fry in batches, so leave the unfried quail in the colander until you're ready to coat them in flour and fry them. You don't want the floured pieces to sit and soak up the flour.
When the quail are fried, set them on a cooling rack set above paper towels to drain away excess oil.
Here's the finished product! It would go perfect with biscuits & gravy!