This preparation is a little trouble, but definitely worth the time! The quail will be succulent and the vegetables delicious. This is a great dish to introduce to your friends who are convinced that they don't like the taste of any type of wild game. This recipe was inspired by a 1999 recipe that appeared in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook.
1Fry bacon until crisp in a cast iron skillet. Render out all of the fat and save bacon for another use.
2While bacon is frying combine the salt, pepper and flour together in a bowl. Sprinkle each quail liberally with Cavender's seasoning, dredge in the flour mixture, shake off excess and brown each bird well in the bacon grease. Set quail aside on paper towels.
3Allow the bacon grease to cool slightly; then whisk in an equal portion of flour, stirring constantly over medium heat until the roux is browned the color of peanut butter; add salt, pepper and soup, stirring until incorporated; now add an equal portion of milk, whisking vigorously until all of the lumps are gone. If the gravy is too thick, thin with the white wine a tablespoon at a time, and fully incorporate. Taste for seasonings and pour into a container, keeping it warm.
4Pour olive oil into a #12 cast iron Dutch Oven (outdoors) or a large round French Oven like Le Creuset (indoors) and heat oil over medium heat. Add the next 4 ingredients and sweat vegetables about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5Add quail to the pot. Mix together the chicken stock and next 4 ingredients, pouring over the quail and vegetables. Bring to a boil, COVER, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
6Stir mixture and add the white wine and mushrooms. RE-COVER and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
7While the quail are braising, cook basmati rice, bake a batch of your favorite biscuits, and make sure the gravy is hot.
8Serve two quail per person on top of the rice, and spoon the mushroom gravy on the hot bisuits. A green salad or balsamic green beans will complete this hearty meal.