Peking quail

A variation on the classic Chinese Peking duck in which all techniques are applied to the quail

Creation by Mark Best, Sydney, Australia.

Recipe for 4 quails.

Peking quail

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brown sugar



granulated sugar



sherry vinegar

Preparation method

  • Portion the quail into the legs, wings, and breasts.
  • Dissolve the salt in the water.
  • Lay the pieces of quail in the brine for 3 hours.
  • Then place them on a rack and dry in the refrigerator for twelve hours. Do not cover the quail pieces!
  • Steam the pieces at 58°C for 35 minutes.
  • Remove the breasts after 35 minutes, increase the temperature to 75°C and continue cooking the legs and wings for another ten minutes.
  • Cool all the pieces on a rack.
  • Caramelise the two types of sugar in a dry pan and deglaze with the sherry vinegar. Continue cooking until the caramel is smooth. Allow to cool.
  • Baste the skin of the quail with the caramel. Ensure that all the skin is basted equally.
  • Bake the quail in the oven just before serving at 210°C until golden brown and crispy. Cut the breast meat from the carcass.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve just as you would Peking duck with all the traditional garnishes and sauces.
  • As part of a further preparation as an addition to a warm quail salad.
  • As part of a further preparation, such as a filling for spring rolls.
  • Mark Best serves this quail with carrot cores and a carrot and miso sauce.

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