zesty apricot and ginger stuffed quail

I have spent the past week packing everything in nice, tidy boxes, moving said boxes, watching my plants wilt and die while being jostled in the back of a moving truck, and getting my hand stuck in my cat’s cage for ten minutes while comforting her as I drive northbound through the dark night.

Northbound to my new home, the last outpost for civilization in the northeastern U.S. I previously thought the last outpost was Bangor, population 30,000+. No, as it turns out. It is Presque Isle, population 10,000-. Located in Aroostook County, the Crown of Maine, aka way the heck up there. The place where potatoes grow. The place where there is a hot air balloon festival. It is home to one of the smallest TV markets in the country as defined by Nielsen market research – two channels!

And also home to me, my new house, and finally, a yard. To be molded to my every whim and desire, gardening-wise. This makes saying farewell to Bangor okay with me.

Given all the packing and unpacking I’ve lately steeped myself in, I’ve come to prefer small tidy packets and packages over larger, more bulky boxes and bins.

And a few weeks ago, I delighted in something small and tidy that tasted much less of cardboard than the boxes scattered liberally throughout my life.

Zesty apricot and ginger stuffed quail.

Don’t meats look more appealing in fisheye? These dancing quail will satisfy long after they are devoured – the devourment of which, I can guarantee, will be quick.

This recipe comes from my favorite cooking show ever. Ever ever ever. Have you watched Two Fat Ladies? It is hilarious. It is British. It is 90s. And it makes me want to eat a motley assortment of meats that I never before found appetizing.

You can guess that the recipe must be good if I deign to feature it here, given my habitual disdain of all things savory.


They really do look as though they are performing in some sort of chorus line, don’t they? Given that singing (and even a bit of dancing) is prevalent throughout the Two Fat Ladies episodes, I’m honestly not that surprised…

Zesty Apricot and Ginger Stuffed Quail

{reciped adapted from The Two Fat Ladies Ride Again cookbook}

Makes 6 stuffed quail


6 quails
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 c. (290 g) cooked rice (will make enough for an extra side of rice)
4 dried apricots, chopped
pinch of ground ginger
zest of one orange
1 tbsp. (8 g) pine nuts
1/2 c. (113 g) melted butter
6 tbsp. (90 mL) white wine
juice of 1/2 orange


Clean the quails, and pluck off any remaining stray feathers. Liberally season inside and out with salt and pepper.

Combine the cooked rice, chopped apricots, ginger, grated orange zest, and pine nuts, and moisten with a small amount of melted butter.

Stuff the quails with the mixture and place them in a roasting pan – leave plenty of room around the sides of each quail. Brush the quails with melted butter.

Roast in a preheated oven at 450F (230 C) for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300F (150 C) and roast for a further 15 to 30 minutes, basting frequently with a mixture of the wine (which should be boiled to reduce by a third), the orange juice and about 4 tablespoons (60 g) of melted butter.

When cooked through (check with a thermometer), remove the quails to a serving dish to keep warm. Taste the liquid in the roasting pan and, if necessary, add pepper and salt, then pour the liquid over the quails. Serve with additional rice mixture (which must be cooked if meaty hands touched it during quail prep), and a leafy salad.

I’ll return soon, with more on my cheery new life in northern Maine, and less on the snowbank that I drove into, kamikaze-style, the other day.


19 thoughts on “zesty apricot and ginger stuffed quail

  1. Oh, I hope moving went as smoothly as it could! How have your first few days in PI been? I’ve never heard of Two Fat Ladies, but now I must check them out. This recipe sounds fantastic. Where in the heck did you find quail in Bangor?

    And speaking of Bangor–I love those downtown shots! That fisheye lens is too cool.

    1. Brianne, PI is nice. I have been mostly staying in, as I have been chained to the endless string of boxes and bins. Perhaps I’ll venture out today…

      Two Fat Ladies is hilarious. Look it up on Netflix, you won’t regret it (I don’t think) – I was quite inspired !

      Har har, I found the quail at the Asian market in Portland, of course:D

  2. Wow, loved the last few pics of Bang-gor…and you are right–you have a chorus line of quail! Really like the idea of the fruity nutty stuffing. I could see using that in chicken, or even pork….mmmmm, lovely meat!
    Bye bye fish-eye:-(

    Those two fat ladies were hilarious. I so enjoyed watching their shows. I wonder what Clarissa is doing now….?

    1. Mum, I wonder what Clarissa is doing now as well. Grab that crrrrrab, Clarrrissa!

      We had this rice again last night, it’s so very delicious.

      Bye bye fisheye:(

    1. lucindalines, I suppose dead birds are not for everyone, even if they are delicious (and this coming from someone who dislikes meat). Glad you found the pictures more appetizing.

  3. Oh, if only there’d been dancing quails in the chorus line of a certain musical; you might have been Pro-Mo-Ro too! Very fancy-schmancy recipe indeed, my dear. I hope it warms you up in your new home.

    P.S. If you like funny, British, satire, cooking, then I recommend Posh Nosh with Richard E. Grant. Except, well, don’t judge me if you don’t like it, because I saw it so long ago that I can’t remember anything about it except it amused me at the time… and something about a tennis player…

    1. Hannah, perhaps I would have been outraged at the mistreatment of tasty quails that just wanted to be eaten ! Just kidding, it probably would have upped my enjoyment level.

      I haven’t heard of Posh Nosh – I must check it out. Tennis is good too… Does he cook meals, and is then all “Serve THIS”??

  4. Happy moving. Your pictures – the fisheye + snow, make everything look very charming.

    These sound amazing!
    I haven’t had quail since I was little. My dad and his brothers go quail hunting every year. These are one of those super cute little birds that I like to see running through the dessert, so I tell myself that that they are hideous little beasts that must be hunted.
    When I don’t think of them as the “before” the “after” looks delicious.

    1. Sarah, Bangor was a charming, despite being also drug-infested, town. I’ll look forward to capturing Presque Isle in a similar way through my (no longer fisheyed) lens.

      I like your quail memories. I’m sure they’re vicious vicious beasties. Really mean to children and old women. Cuteness is only a facade…. maybe:/

  5. No fair! You have way more snow than we do in Minnesota and Iowa. This lack of snow is making it very hard for me to enjoy x-county skiing. Hopefully all the snow didn’t make your move hard. I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures in this small, very northern town. I looked up Presque Isle and you weren’t lying…it is really far up their :)
    Hope you can stay warm!

    1. Charlotte Rose, har har ! Naw, despite having more snow, we also had epic rain the other day. Given the snow and frozen ground conditions this led, sadly, to basement flooding and now-ugly snow.

      Aww, you looked up Presque Isle. Upon my arrival, I was surprised to find that they have the internet here:P

  6. While I don’t see myself eating quails so soon (I have a thing with birds… I try to avoid them when I can), they look great through the fish eye!

    1. Silvia, in that case, I will shoulder the bird-en, err, burden, of poultry feasting. I’m not really much of a fan of chicken, or any meat for that matter, but it is a task I can handle:)

  7. Emma, Good luck with your move. I am excited for you to have your own garden. Whatcha gonna plant?

    And I love quail – a family favorite here – so interesting to pair it with ginger and apricots. Yum!


And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s