Using the fresh roots of Turmeric and Ginger (a traditional Indian fresh pickle) as a quail marinade creates hot, peppery flavours, slightly reminiscent of bitter orange. Add fresh orange juice and honey for acid / sweetness balance.
50g fresh turmeric root (finger length)*
50g fresh ginger root peeled* (or about 3 inches)
Juice of one orange and some of the zest or substitute whatever citrus you have
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon (green) cardamom seed
1 star anise
5 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon orange infused oil (add orange zest)
(I don’t bother to peel fresh turmeric or ginger
just give it a good scrub under running water)
Add together everything in a food processor bowl. Finely chop.
Spatchcock the quail (cut along the backbone, turn over and flatten with your hand).
Place quail in a single layer in your baking dish, cover the birds in the marinade, (1–2 hours or overnight).
Bake in a moderate oven 20 minutes.
OR – my preference
Grill on a preheated BBQ for 10 minutes breast down – turning over for a further 5 minutes.
Quail cook quickly so check the breast for clear juice when pierced.
It is a good idea to rinse the processor or chopping board because turmeric is great dye.