Mistakes were made.
Yesterday, in an effort to get the quail into the marinade as quickly as possible, I referred to an ingredient list and then immediately stopped thinking. The consequence is that I put all the ingredients together at once, including the butter, which I should have reserved for basting. Miraculously, this did not lower the flash point of the birds.
I spatchcocked the quail and put them in a large freezer bag with the marinade. The bag went into the fridge for eight hours. I turned it over every once in a while, which was pretty much useless considering that the butter had congealed and was holding the marinade in place anyway.
As cooking time approached, I prepped the eggplants, zucchini and jalapeños. The zucchini got a coating of olive oil and some herbes de Provence, the peppers and eggplants got olive and sesame oil.
And then, to the grill and Mistake #2:
I shoved way too much on the grill at once. Not the end of the world, but I lost a few zucchini slices as I tried to move things off the fire. Eventually, I gave up trying to do everything at once and pulled the eggplants and jalapeños off. Aren’t they pretty?
The veg having been grilled and popped in the oven to keep them warm, it was time for … the birds!
Now, I know that the birds should have been splayed out, but I have a relatively small grill surface and I needed to make sure they weren’t directly over the charcoal. I’m only on season two of charcoal grilling, but I feel like I’m getting the hang of managing the heat. I’ve been using Wicked Good’s Weekend Warrior Blend lump charcoal. It burns evenly and without any chemical odor.
So, about 25 minutes later, the quail, having not been shifted, or turned or moved in any way shape or form, had reached an internal temp of 145F, at which point I flipped ’em and moved them over direct heat.
The salad pictured above is tomato, scallions, cucumber and some chili peppers. We also had a salad of yogurt with cucumber and mint. Why I have no pictures of picked-clean bones, I cannot tell you. Probably because my fingers were too greasy to pick up the camera.
The meal was lovely and I was thrilled to have a tableful of guests.
We had a bit of cake to finish and to celebrate my cousin’s birthday.