How To Clean A Quail
There are several stages to go through, but essentially learning how to clean a quail is a relatively straightforward process, with possibly the most important piece of equipment required being a sturdy pair of kitchen or game shears. Then the following steps must be followed, taking care to avoid the sharp edges of the quail bones:
1. Remove the wings, followed by taking off the legs at the knee. 2. Either cut off the head as close to the body as possible, or pull it off by placing it between index and forefinger of one hand and holding body in other, before twisting and pulling off. 3. Skin the bird starting at the top of the breast and pulling over the legs and off the back. 4. Take off the tail, cutting as close as possible to the lower body. 5. Make a small cut at the base of the breast bone and then bend the bone upwards in the direction of the neck area, before separating the skin that lies across the intestines. Remove these together with the kidneys, liver, lungs and heart. 6. Thoroughly wash in cool water to complete the quail cleaning process, before placing into a plastic freezer bag for safe storage. The bird is now ready to cook.
In might not be for the squeamish, but in all honesty the whole process can be undertaken in a matter of minutes, especially by those time-served in the practice, but even the inexperienced can master the art fairly quickly and look forward to a delicious meal at the end of it. For some the innards of the quail are a delicacy, but they are an acquired taste and most prefer to stick to the wings and breast. Served grilled over a bed of wild rice takes some beating.
Plucking is also an option and works fine, carried out in a very similar way to how it would be done if plucking a chicken, but with the quail being significantly smaller, coupled with the fact that the meat is remarkably tender and sweet, most people decide it is not a worthwhile alternative.