This is an old Sicilian recipe. The pomegranate seeds add a tartness that is balanced by the sweetness of the orange zest and juice.

Shay
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together 1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, orange juice, Marsala, mint, and orange zest in a very large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the quail, and turn to evenly coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.

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  • Remove the quail from the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Season the quail inside and out with salt and pepper. Strain the marinade, reserving the liquid, and stuff the quail with the pomegranate seeds. Wrap each quail with 1 slice of pancetta.

  • Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the quail 4 at a time in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes total. Place the quail into a large roasting pan in a single layer; set aside. Pour the chicken stock and reserved liquid marinade into the skillet, and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until the sauce has reduced to half its original volume. Pour the sauce over the quail.

  • Bake the quail in the preheated oven until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 10 to 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Pour the juices from the baking dish back into the skillet; cover the quail with aluminum foil, and keep warm. Taste the juices, and add additional orange juice and Marsala wine if desired. Stir in the orange segments, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook a few minutes until hot. Pour the sauce and orange segments over the quail, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds to serve.

Nutrition Facts

340.6 calories; protein 25.2g 50% DV; carbohydrates 7.8g 3% DV; fat 21.5g 33% DV; cholesterol 92.9mg 31% DV; sodium 271.1mg 11% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (2)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2011
Excellent recipe! Haven't ever seen quails in any local stores so I used 2 Cornish hens which are quite a bit bigger than quails; the quantity of marinade etc. for the 12 quails was just about right for the 2 hens and used 3 pancetta for each bird. Served 1/2 hen per person. Also had to cook in oven quite a bit longer (a little more than an hour I think); I used an instant thermometer to judge doneness and ensure the seeds used as stuffing got up to about 160F since they were used in marinating the raw bird. Pancetta got a bit overdone slightly burnt at the longer cooking time so I should have added that halfway through the oven time although it was still very tasty. Anyway bird & sauce had a wonderful flavor. Expect I'll do this again! Read More
(3)
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2011
Excellent recipe! Haven't ever seen quails in any local stores so I used 2 Cornish hens which are quite a bit bigger than quails; the quantity of marinade etc. for the 12 quails was just about right for the 2 hens and used 3 pancetta for each bird. Served 1/2 hen per person. Also had to cook in oven quite a bit longer (a little more than an hour I think); I used an instant thermometer to judge doneness and ensure the seeds used as stuffing got up to about 160F since they were used in marinating the raw bird. Pancetta got a bit overdone slightly burnt at the longer cooking time so I should have added that halfway through the oven time although it was still very tasty. Anyway bird & sauce had a wonderful flavor. Expect I'll do this again! Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
01/02/2017
The flavor of the quail with the pomegranate and the marinade reduction worked really well. I suspect I will make this again with other game birds/Cornish hens in the future. I chose to marinate overnight and probably will if I make this again. In addition I will likely use bacon over pancetta in the future. The pancetta I used fell apart and therefore was lost in the dish. Thanks for the recipe. Read More