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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Grilled Quail With Pancetta and Grapes

Grilled Quail With Pancetta and Grapes

Provided by: Chefs Jody Williams, Rita Sodi

  • Type of Dish: Main Courses
  • Servings: 4
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3/4 cup salt

6 rosemary sprigs

1 head garlic, halved

8 fresh quail, backbone removed and flattened

Extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly ground fennel seeds

8 pancetta slices

½ lb. Concord grapes (or other grapes)

4 shallots, halved (keep skins on)

Aged balsamic vinegar


Dissolve the salt in 8 cups of warm water. Add 2 rosemary sprigs and both halves of the garlic head. Let infuse and cool for 15 minutes, then add the quail. Place the quail in the rosemary brine for 1 to 2 hours. Remove and pat dry. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with freshly cracked pepper and fennel seed. When the grill is ready, place each quail over the coals, breast side down, with the pancetta draped over the backside with a small bunch of grapes. The fat from the pancetta should render and add flavor, and the grapes will warm and begin to char along with the quail. Tuck shallot halves in between the quail, and grill them as well. When the quail are a deep golden brown, turn them over to finish; balance the pancetta and grapes on top or let them fall to the side and catch some char. Remove to a platter and garnish with rosemary and a drizzle of the balsamic. (Published 2014)