Recipe courtesy of Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar

Quail with Wild Cherry and Barolo Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Twelve 4 to 5-ounce quail, "glove boned" (semi-boneless)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, cut into thirds

1 sprig fresh rosemary

3/4 cup Barolo wine 

1 cup fresh black cherries and wild cornelian cherries, pitted, or blackberries, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup homemade chicken broth, low sodium

Pinch sugar, optional


  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle the quail with salt and pepper on both sides. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the skillet until it shimmers, and then carefully add the quail to the pan, in batches, leaving space between them. Avoid crowding the pan as it lowers the temperature of the oil and prevents the quail from searing properly. Cook the quail, adding 1 more tablespoon oil if needed, until browned nicely and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked quail to a baking sheet and cover with foil. Set aside to rest. 
  3. Drain all but about 1 tablespoon excess fat from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil and the shallots and saute until translucent, scraping up any of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaf, garlic and rosemary and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Pour in the wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up any leftover brown bits. Return the heat to high and add the cherries and chicken broth. Cook until the sauce has reduced by half and thickened slightly. Taste and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, if needed. Set aside until ready to serve. It can sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. 
  5. To serve, plate 2 quail per person. Spoon the sauce over top and garnish with a few cherries.

Cook’s Note

Depending on the tartness of your cherries or berries you might need a pinch of sugar to balance the flavor. Don't add it to the very end, though, because some ripe berries and cherries can hold a lot of sweetness on their own. If reheating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Reheat the quail in the oven for 5 minutes. Bring the sauce up to a low simmer, and then spoon over the quail.