Quail eggs are a delicacy and I'll get them whenever I can find fresh eggs for sale. I love pickled quail eggs (the only pickled egg I'll eat) and this is a recipe I developed when I lived in MS and we raised Pharaoh Quail.
1Soak fresh eggs in warm water to remove any dirt and other stuff on the outer shells. Drain and rinse well then soak in cold water to make sure all residue is removed from the shells.
2Boil eggs for 8 minutes and remove from heat. Drain boiling water and replace it with cold water.
When water starts to get warm from the hot eggs, drain the water and replace with cold again. Do this several times to cool down the eggs. You can put the eggs in ice water if desired.
3If you try to peel the eggs like a regular sized egg, you're going to lose a lot of eggs because the white tears so easily.
4Put the eggs back into the pot that you boiled them in. (Don't do this in an aluminum pot! Use a glass, plastic, or stainless bowl.) Cover the eggs with white vinegar and let soak at least 10-12 hours or over night. The longer the better. The "spots" from the eggs will float to the surface and the shells will become soft and rubbery, making them super easy to peel. (See Notes Below)
5In sterile jars put 1 garlic toe and 1 hot pepper in each jar then pack jars with eggs, about 12-13 eggs per 1/2 pint jar, depending on size of eggs. Set aside.
6In water bath canning pot bring 6 inches of water to a boil.
7Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil. Cook for 3 minutes. Pour hot brine over eggs to completely cover.
8Wipe rims well and place lids and bands on each jar, sealing tightly. Place jars in boiling water and make sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch. Bring back to a boil and boil 15 minutes.
9Remove jars and let cool. Any jars that don't seal should be refrigerated and eaten first. Let sit for at least 2-3 weeks or more for best flavor.
10NOTES: If you use regular salt instead of pickling salt the garlic will turn a bluish-green color.
Food color (red or green), or beet juice may be added if desired.
I save my soaking vinegar by straining the vinegar through a fine mesh strainer first, then straining again through a paper towel. I keep it in a 1 gallon vinegar jug marked Egg Soaking Vinegar. This can be used over and over - just add more vinegar to cover eggs as needed.