Southern Fried Quail with Country Cream Gravy

Fried quail

Fried quail are absolutely delicious! Even most people who don’t care for wild game or game birds like quail. The flesh is white and has a mild flavor, unlike many other game birds. Before frying, either cut birds in half down the back, or spread them out flat with your hands. This allows for more even cooking. This recipe is even better when you include the cream gravy, or as it’s sometimes called, Southern cream gravy.

Holle’s Fried Quail

  • 4 quail
  • Buttermilk
  • Seasoned salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Oil for frying

Rinse quail and soak in buttermilk for an hour. Remove quail from buttermilk and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Dredge in flour. Fill black iron skillet with ½ inch of oil and heat to medium-high, about 360 degrees. Place birds in hot oil, without crowding. Fry quail, skin side down, until one side is brown and crispy. Turn birds and repeat for other side. Depending on the size of the quail, total cooking time will be 12-15 minutes.

Cream Gravy

2 tablespoons pan drippings

2 tablespoons leftover flour

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup milk

½ cup heavy cream

Once the quail are done and have been removed from the pan, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Scrape sides and bottom of skillet to loosen crusty bits. You want to leave these in the pan to add flavor and texture to the gravy.

Take two tablespoons of the flour you used for dredging and sprinkle it slowly into the oil. Cook over medium-low heat for two-three minutes, while stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Add salt and pepper.

While continuing to stir, gradually add the milk and cream. Turn up the burner and bring gravy to a slow boil. Continue stirring until gravy has thickened to desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, add a small amount of water or milk. Ladle cream gravy over quail.