Roast Quail with Apple and Calvados

Updated February 23, 2016

Wrap the quail in pancetta to keep the flesh moist. The apples and Calvados add a rich, sweet flavor to the dish.Good with roast potatoes and green beans.

Nutritional Benefits: Low fat

Prepare ahead: The quail can be prepared through step 1, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 day ahead.

Freeze for up to 3 months.


Preparation Time10 min

Preparation Time - Text10 mins

Cooking Time25 min

Cooking Time - Text30

Cooking Methodroasting



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFormal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationlow-fat

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturefruity, savory, winey


  • 8 quail
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small bunch of sage leaves
  • 8 slices of pancetta, unrolled
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp raw or light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp Calvados or applejack


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Season the quail inside and out with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper, then tuck a couple of sage leaves into the cavity. Wrap a strip of pancetta around each bird, tucking the ends underneath.

Place the apples in a large roasting pan, and toss with the butter and sugar. Arrange the quail on the apples. Roast for 25–30 minutes, turning occasionally, until both the quail and apples have turned golden brown.

Transfer the quail and apples to a serving platter. Stir the Calvados into the roasting pan and stir over high heat until it boils. Cook for 30 seconds, then pour over the quail and apples. Serve at once.



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