Honey Glazed Grilled Quail with Habanero, Liquor Soaked Plums and Apricots, Candied Walnuts, and Organic Greens

Source: Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls, Huntington Hotel.

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

Serves 4


4 semi-boneless quail
1 recipe white balsamic vinaigrette
1 recipe honey-habanero glaze for quail
1 recipe Armagnac infused dried fruit
½ cup caramelized walnuts (optional)
4 cups mixed organic field greens

White balsamic vinaigrette (Yields about 1 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup orange olive oil
½ teaspoon orange zest
½ cup walnut or hazelnut oil
½ teaspoon salt

Honey-habanero glaze (Yields 2 cups)
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
6 ounces honey
1 teaspoons fresh gingerroot, grated
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Chardonnay
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh habanero pepper minced, seeds and veins removed
Pinch of white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon chardonnay

Armagnac dried infused fruit
1 cup combination of dried fruits–plums, white figs, apricots, or nectarine
¼ cup Grand Marnier
¼ cup orange juice
1 ounce Armagnac or regular brandy


  1. Marinate quails for at least one hour in ¼ cup of the glaze.
  2. Make the infused fruit recipe and set them aside until ready for assembly.
  3. Make the vinaigrette.
  4. Clean the salad greens.
  5. Remove quails from marinade and pat dry. Season them with Kosher salt and black pepper. Rub them with olive oil and grill on both sides until light golden. Brush with more glaze and finish in the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until they are done at the leg joints. Set aside until ready for assembly.

For the white balsamic vinaigrette

Whisk all ingredients together until well incorporated.

For the honey-habenero glaze

Bring all ingredients everything except cornstarch to a boil and reduce by half.  Thicken with cornstarch slurry and strain.

For the Armagnac dried fruit

  1. In a bowl, cover fruits with liquid and put over a double boiler for 10-15 minutes or so.
  2. Using a sauté pan, sauté the fruit over medium heat in the Armagnac and Grand Marnier. Let the fruit ignite to a flame to burn off the alcohol. Cook until slightly caramelized and the liquid is evaporated. Let cool and store room temp.


Lay out four plates. Lightly dress the field greens with white balsamic vinaigrette and arrange an attractive pile in the center of each plate. Place a warm gilled quail on top of each pile of greens. Drizzle some glaze on top or each quail. Arrange Armagnac fruits and walnuts around the quail. Enjoy with a crisp, dry Riesling or Pinot Gris.


Farmers Market Ingredients