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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Oolong-Tea-Smoked Quail

Oolong-Tea-Smoked Quail

Provided by: Chef Patricia Yeo
Served at: AZ

Photo by Richard Gerhard Jung
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2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely diced ginger, skin on
6 whole quail

1/2 cup Lapsang souchong tea leaves
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raw rice
Strip of orange zest
3 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2 cloves


Grind the peppercorns until fine in a spice mill and combine with the salt, zest, and ginger in a bowl. Rub the marinade all over the quail, inside and out, and set aside for two hours.

Line a large, deep pot, such as a stock pot or an old wok, with a generous amount of foil. Make sure the inside is completely covered and there is a foil overhang of about 3 to 4 inches. Line the lid with foil. Place the smoking ingredients in the bottom of the foil-lined pot. Place an oiled rack securely inside the pot, at least two inches above the smoking mixture (you can use empty tin cans to support the rack). Brush off excess marinade from each quail and place them on the rack.

Put the pot over high heat, and when the mixture begins to smoke, place the lid securely on the pot. Crimp the foil loosely around the lid and pot, leaving a 1-inch-long uncrimped opening. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady ribbon of steam from the opening and smoke for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat to a well-ventilated spot, and loosen the foil slowly, pointing away from you so you are not hit with a blast of hot smoke. At this point, the quail should be medium-rare. If you would prefer the quail cooked further, cook them in a 350-degree oven for five minutes. Do not smoke the quail for longer than 15 minutes, as this will result in inedible over-smoked birds.

(Published 2000)

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