Famous for their distinct “bob-white” call, quail are among the most prized game fowl in the U.S. These birds are found in just about every continental American state. They are good sources of tender and nutrition-filled meat.
When you want to hunt for or buy this exotic meat for your table, you need to know where to find these game birds. You also must appreciate where to find and how to prepare it so that you get the most flavor and nutrients from quail meat.
Is Quail Meat Legal in the United States?
Not only is quail meat legal in the United States. Most states actively encourage hunters to come hunt for these game birds each season.
The most popular states where you can hunt for quail in both the fall and spring include:
- South Dakota
Most states that allow for hunting of these birds have both firearm and bow and arrow seasons.
Where to Buy Quail Meat
If you do not bag your limit or you choose not to hunt for quail, you can still purchase it from a variety of sources. Like most exotic meats, it can only be sold by suppliers that are USDA inspected and licensed. It is not legal to buy the meat from hunters or from any source that does not subject itself to government inspections and regulations.
However, you can find it for sale from many butcher shops and meat processing plants that have USDA inspectors on site. You can also find it at many farmers’ markets and online retailers that are licensed and regulated by this government agency. This regulation ensures that the meat that you purchase has been processed in a clean and safe manner and is free from contamination.
What Does Quail Meat Taste Like?
Quail is a tender meat that melts in your mouth. Tender and slightly sweet, Quail meat is considered a delicacy. It can be fried or roasted, and many recipes have been developed.
Anyone who eats quail meat will tell you that it tastes a great deal like chicken. In fact, it is appreciated for its mild flavor and tender texture. It is considered to be a white meat and is very similar in both appearance and feel to chicken that you can buy at the grocery store.
However, quail meat does have a noticeably slightly more game-like taste than domestic chicken if you prepare and consume it immediately after taking it. Many hunters soak the meat in milk to get rid of the game flavor. Once it has soaked for at least two days, the meat should be more mild and similar to chicken.
How to Cook Quail Meat
The meat from quails is versatile and can be prepared in a number of different ways. In fact, it is processed in much the same way that domestic chickens are. You can cut them up into breast pieces, legs, thighs, wings and drumsticks.
You can also eat the gizzard and liver from the inside of the quails that you hunt. Many hunters also eat parts like the heart and feet.
Once you have your game birds processed, you can prepare them in a variety of different ways. The most popular methods for how to cook quail meat involve breading and frying the pieces, much as you would chicken, or grilling them to bring out their flavor.
However, you can also stew or boil the meat as well as braise or bake it. Because of the texture of the meat, it remains juicy and flavorful as long as you cook it at medium heat. You do not want to cook it at a high temperature to avoid burning and ruining its taste and texture.
Quail Meat Nutrition Facts
A single eight-ounce serving of this exotic meat contains 123 calories and only 37.6 grams of fat. It contains 40 percent of your daily recommended amount of protein and contains 11 percent of your Vitamin C allowance.
It is low in sodium and is a good source of nutrients like Vitamin B6, folate, niacin and thiamine. It also contains 23 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron.
Quail meat is a good source of important nutrients that you need for good health. You can hunt for or buy this meat from a variety of sources.