This is a fast and simple way to cook up one or more quail at a time. Few ingredients, few bowls and pans, a fast process with finger-licking-good results. This is a go-to meal for us on days when we're spent from farm work, want a nourishing warm meal but have little time or energy to put something more elaborate together, and little energy for the after dinner clean up. Even if the quail are frozen solid when we decide to make this meal, they defrost quickly because of their small size and we can still get the meal going in a timely manner.
Start by spatchcocking as many quail as you want to cook. To spatchcock is to remove the spine from any bird (chicken, duck, quail, pheasant etc) and crack the breast bone so the bird will lay out flat on a grill or in a pan. I save the spines in either the refrigerator or the freezer, depending on how fast I'll use them. They can be added to stock pots or simply simmered with spices in water to create a fast broth for soup, stew or to cook grains and beans in.
Once you've removed the spines, using household scissors, cut the bird down in the breast bone so it's in two halves.
At this point preheat the oven to 350f
Use 1/2 - 1 cup of all purpose flour and mix in 1 - 1 1/2 tsp each of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and chili powder.
Over medium high heat, heat a fat of your choice (lard, chicken, duck, bacon, butter) in an oven proof frying pan that will hold all the quail in a single layer, I use cast iron frying pans. Dredge each quail half on both sides in the seasoned flour and place in the hot oil. You want the quail to quickly brown on the both sides, so check for a caramel brown color and then turn the pieces over when ready so they can brown on the other side. The whole process should take 15 minutes or so.
When all the pieces have browned nicely on both sides, cover the pan with a lid or foil and place in a 350 F oven for 1 hour.