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A photo of someone garnishing polenta and roasted quail in a black bowl with chopped parsley.

Roast Quail with Polenta

Creamy polenta with perfectly, juicy roasted quail. It's nice to have a different game bird every once in a while. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Not Specific
Keyword polenta recipe, quail recipe, roast quail
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 833 kcal
Author Nicolas


  • 6 quails patted dry with kitchen paper inside and out
  • 3 tablespoons of chinese five spice
  • 300 g polenta
  • 1.2 lt chicken stock for the polenta
  • 1 cup of chicken stock for the red wine gravy
  • 40 g grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ¾ cup of red wine
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cornflour
  • 80 g of rocket
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 75 g of butter for the polenta
  • 25 g of cold cubed butter for the red wine gravy
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Get your 1.2lt stock boiling in a pot, turn the heat down low and then add your polenta. Stir through until you get a mash potato consistency. Keep on a low heat stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. Add a splash of water if you feel like the mixture is getting a bit dry.
  3. Meanwhile, rub and coat the quails with the salt, pepper and the Chinese five spice. Get a heat proof frying pan on medium to high heat. Put a glug of olive oil in the pan and then add the quails breast side down to start browning.
  4. After 2-3 minutes turn the quails over, then put in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Once the quails are done, transfer them to a plate and then place a tea towel over the handle of the frying pan to remind you that it is still hot (do not clean the pan).
  6. When the polenta is done, turn the heat off, then add a splash more water or milk, add your butter, nutmeg, salt, pepper and grated parmesan. Stir through and set aside.
  7. Put the frying pan you used to roast your quail on medium heat. Add your onions and garlic and fry for about 5-10 minutes. Add your cornflour, stir through and then add your red wine.
  8. Use your spoon/spatula to scrape up all the brown parts at the bottom of the pan. Add your chicken stock and simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, season with salt and pepper, then add your cold cubed butter and stir through. Strain the sauce and set aside.
  9. Heat up your polenta on the stove and your quail in the oven if need be. Quickly dress your rocket with olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, then serve with your quail, polenta and red wine gravy.

Recipe Notes

  • Don't be shy on the parmesan and seasoning when adding it to the polenta. 
Nutrition Facts
Roast Quail with Polenta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 833 Calories from Fat 293
% Daily Value*
Fat 32.5g50%
Saturated Fat 10.1g63%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 1066mg46%
Potassium 133mg4%
Carbohydrates 45.5g15%
Fiber 2.1g9%
Sugar 2.6g3%
Protein 82.9g166%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.