A moist cooking technique keeps these lean birds from drying out. Grappa is an Italian liquor distilled from grape pressings left over after winemaking; cognac is a good substitute. Use red and green grapes for an attractive presentation. Serve with steamed green beans and wild rice tossed with toasted hazelnuts.
1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes
8 (4-ounce) quail, skinned
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 (1-inch) rosemary sprigs
8 (1-inch) thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped prosciutto (about 1 ounce)
3 tablespoons grappa (Italian brandy) or cognac
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Whole rosemary sprigs (optional)
Whole thyme sprigs (optional)
- Cut 1/2 cup grapes in half lengthwise.
- Sprinkle quail with salt and pepper. Place 1 (1-inch) rosemary sprig and 1 (1-inch) thyme sprig into cavity of each quail.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add quail; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange quail, breast sides up, in pan; add 1/2 cup broth. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 25 minutes or until done. Place quail on a platter; cover loosely with foil.
- Add 1/4 cup broth, prosciutto, grappa, and shallots to pan; cook over medium-high heat 1 1/2 minutes or until shallots are tender, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/2 cup broth and whole and halved grapes; cook 2 minutes or until grapes are thoroughly heated. Pour grape mixture over quail; garnish with whole rosemary and thyme sprigs, if desired.