Spicy Sweet Grilled Quail

Our friends Chris and Will went bird hunting during their winter break. It must have been a very successful trip, because we were gifted with a cooler full of quail and pheasants. What better way to enjoy Southern game birds than with another Southern favorite - hot pepper jelly. Of course, the bacon didn't hurt either! This recipe appealed to all our tastes.

  • 8 quail, dressed
  • 8 strips thick-cut bacon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup jalapeƱo pepper jelly (we use Braswell's)
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Bourbon

Prepare your fire or grill. While the grill is heating, rinse quail and season with salt and pepper, then wrap each one with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. In a bowl whisk the pepper jelly, bourbon, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.

When the coals of the fire are hot with no flame, place the bacon-wrapped quail over the fire and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning frequently until the bacon is beginning to caramelize and the quail have grill marks on all sides.

Brush the quail with the pepper glaze and continue turning, basting, and cooking for about 10 minutes longer. When the quail are nicely glazed and grilled on all sides and the flesh is just cooked through, remove them from the fire. Let the quail rest for a few minutes before serving. The glaze can be ladled over the quail before serving, but only if it is brought to a boil beforehand to kill any bacteria transferred from the quail. We served the quail with brown rice and sauteed zucchini for a wonderful wintertime dinner.