Sauteed Quail Breast with Red Wine Sauce


  • 4 quail breasts
  • 2 cups dill pickle juice, from jar of pickles
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach
  • 1lb fingerling potatoes, blanched & cut into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cold butter


  1. In a large plastic bag, marinate the quail breast with the pickle brine over night or as little as 6 hours. This will impart some brine flavor but also make the breast’s more tender and juicy.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. Preheat a large, heavy bottomed (preferably stainless steel) sauté pan over the highest temperature. Season quail with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Place quail breasts into hot pan (skin side down). Leave flame on high long enough for the pan to recover its heat, then turn flame down to medium or medium high. The object is to sear the breasts quickly so they stay rare but the skin is dark golden brown. If your quail doesn’t have skin, shoot for a golden brown on the flesh.
  5. Take quail out of the pan and add the bacon, spinach and potatoes. Season with salt and mix in pan. Place quail back into the pan (seared side up) and place in oven for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Take the pan out of the oven. Take out quail and potato/spinach mixture and rest. Add wine to the pan and reduce to 1 tablespoon amount of liquid. Turn off heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons cold butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Plate the spinach/potatoes in the center of the plates. Slice the quail on the bias and place atop the veg mix. Spoon the sauce around the quail and enjoy!