Spatchcock Quail
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Recipe courtesy of Yia Vang

Spatchcock Rotisserie Quail with Sweet Marinade

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 40 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Whole grilled or fried quail on a stick is a popular street food in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. In my family, quail was only served on special occasions. Mom would marinate them, then slowly roast them over an open fire hardwood grill and we would pick the small meat off the bones and dip it into the Hmong hot pepper sauce kua txob. To round out the amazing flavors, we would make sure there was plenty of sticky rice.


Sticky Soy Glaze:


Tiger Bite Hot Sauce


Special equipment:
an open fire set up with a grill grate; 16 bamboo skewers
  1. For the sticky soy glaze: Mix the sweet soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, gochugaru and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. For the quail: Lay 1 quail on your cutting board with the breast facedown and the backbone facing up. Starting at the tail end, cut along the backbone using kitchen shears. Turn the quail over on the cutting board so the cut side is on the board and the breast side is facing up. Using the palm of your hand, lightly press down on the quail until you hear a crack and the quail rests flat on the cutting board. Repeat with the remaining 7 quail. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Add the quail to the sticky soy glaze, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Set up a hardwood fire and let it burn to low-burning embers (see Cook’s Note). Set up your grate for direct and indirect heat cooking.
  4. Remove the quail from the marinade and reserve the marinade for basting. Use 1 bamboo skewer to pierce through the quail’s left thigh and breast. Use a second skewer to pierce through the right thigh and breast. Repeat with the remaining 7 quail. Place each quail skin-side down on the perimeter of the grill grate over direct heat, making sure that the skewers are not on the grate. Grill, flipping every 1 to 2 minutes, until the quail is golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Brush the cooked quail with the reserved marinade and cook until the glaze is dry and sticky, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  5. Serve the quail with the Tiger Bite Hot Sauce, sticky rice and grilled vegetables.

Tiger Bite Hot Sauce

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
  1. Set up a hardwood fire and let it burn to low-burning embers (see Cook’s Note). Set up your grate for direct and indirect heat cooking.
  2. Brush the garlic, chiles and shallot with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the garlic and chiles on a small baking sheet or boat made with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the tray and the shallot, cut-side down, on the grill grate over indirect heat. Grill until soft and tender, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Stem the roasted chiles and quarter the shallots.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, combine the chiles, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper into a coarse paste. Add the cilantro and combine until it is broken into small pieces. Stir in the fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice and 2 to 3 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Note

Make sure to use untreated hardwood, such as cherry, hickory or mesquite, that is safe for cooking.