I think the moment I moved from someone who ‘enjoyed cooking’ to a more seriously commited ‘foodie’ was the moment I learned to butterfly poultry. It was intimidating, taking those kitchen shears and cracking all the ribs along the spinal chord. It was inspired by an episode of Good Eats, it marked a new embracing of my omnivore nature: if I was going to keep eating meat, I needed to be comfortable handling it.
If you want to learn how to open up a chicken to make it ‘grill’ friendly, click here.
I bought these quail on special at Waitrose and they sat in my freezer for a few months until I felt adventurous enough to attempt to make them. The occasion came when my flatmate J celebrated his 26th birthday – he wanted to make special Colombian coconut rice from Barranquilla, and I volunteered to make the meat.
Butterflying these quail was definitely a test to my meat-eating ways: they hadn’t been cleaned, so I had to clean out the giblets and digestive tracts myself. Some of the quail had teeny eggs inside them as well, which totally gave me the heebie-jeebies!
I grilled these, brushing them with a mixture of honey, bbq sauce, crushed garlic, vinegar and tabasco, for a total of about 10 minutes on each side.