These are completely domesticated game birds, bred in this country for the table. Don’t be taken in by their tiny appearance, which is, in fact, quite deceptive – they are surprisingly plump and the flesh is delicious.
Serve two quails per person – a good way to serve them is to place a sage leaf on the breast of each bird, wrap it in bacon, then place them on a bed of previously softened onions and mushrooms along with 5 fl oz (150ml) dry white wine, cider or Madeira. Then braise them in a medium oven – gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) and give them 40-45 minutes.
Plump little quail are the ultimate in single-serving foods...and very easy to cook and serve (no carving needed!). If you can't find vine leaves, use foil instead.