Quail Thai Curry

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Thai cuisine bursts with flavor. You get spicy, savory, sweet, sour and salty all in one bite!  Quail Thai Curry is both hearty and warming, making it perfect for cool fall (or cold winter) weather.  

By Danielle Prewett

Quail Thai Curry is both hearty and warming, making it perfect for the cool fall (or cold winter) weather.  Thai cuisine bursts with flavor. You get spicy, savory, sweet, sour and salty all in one bite!  This might sound overwhelming, but each ingredient adds a unique layer of texture and taste.  When combined they create perfect balance.
 
This recipe calls for browning sliced quail (or other game bird) breasts and then removing them from the pan.  After the curry has simmered into a rich sauce, then you'll add the meat back in during the last few minutes to gently poach in the liquids until just barely cooked through. The result is tender meat infused with a flavorful coconut curry and served on a bed of jasmine rice.
 
Thai ingredients can be very hard to find and the curry paste is usually made by hand.  For convenience, substitutions have been provided. The curry paste isn’t quite as flavorful when its pre-made, which is a lot of aromatics and extra chilies are included in the recipe.  
 
Top the curry with lots of fresh basil (Thai Basil if you can find it) and cilantro.  Don’t skip this, as the herbs are much more than just a garnishment.  Basil and cilantro are cooling agents and help to counterbalance the heat. An ice cold beer also helps!
 

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 4)

8 Quail Breasts (or subsitute other game bird meat)
Coconut Oil for cooking
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 T. of minced Ginger
3 Serranos or 1-2 Birds Eye Chilies, minced *
4 T.  Thai Red Curry Paste
1 Lime, Juiced
2 Cans of Coconut Cream
2 T. Fish Sauce (substitute with Soy Sauce)
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼" rounds
½ of a Red Bell Pepper, julienned into ¼" matchsticks
2 T. Palm or Coconut Sugar (substitute with Brown Sugar)
2 T. Golden Raisins
2 Baby Bok Choy, chopped (substitute with 1/2C. Snow Peas)
2 C. of cooked Jasmine Rice
Fresh Basil and Cilantro for Garnish
 

METHOD

1. For best results, chop and measure out all of the ingredients before starting the cooking process.

2. Season the quail breasts with salt and pepper and slice against the grain into strips. In a large Dutch Oven or pot, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil over high heat. Once hot, add the sliced meat and brown (working in batches so that you don't over-crowd the pan). Remove the meat and set aside on a plate.
 
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add an additional Tablespoon of oil to the pan and stir in the shallots. Cook for a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, chilies and curry paste.  Cook for an additional minute. Once fragrant, deglaze the pan with fish sauce, lime juice and coconut cream. Stir to combine and scrape up any bits on the bottom.  Add the carrots, red bell pepper, sugar and golden raisins.
 
4. Turn the heat to low so that the curry gently simmers. Let the curry cook and reduce for about 30 minutes to thicken and intensify in flavor.
 
5. In the last few minutes of cooking, add the meat back to the pot along with the baby bok choy. Be careful that you don't over-cook the meat or let the bok choy get too wilted.
 
6. Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with fresh basil and cilantro.
 

NOTE

Adjust the amount or type of chilies to your own preference of spice level.