I love a game bird, and these beauties come from my good friend Bob The Butcher. They’re wonderfully succulent, but to tenderise them even more, as well as infusing them with a hint of honeyed sweetness, brine them in a concoction of honey and buttermilk before dusting in spiced flour. Finger food at its crunchy best.
20g runny honey
75ml boiling water
150g plain flour
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
Vegetable oil, for frying
1. To spatchcock the quails, place each bird on its breast and snip out the backbones with poultry shears or a very sharp knife.
2. Press down on each bird with the palm of your hand to flatten them out, then cut each quail in half through the breastbone.
3. Put the salt and honey in a large bowl, pour on the boiling water and mix until the salt is dissolved. Add the buttermilk and mix thoroughly and leave at room temperature for three hours.
4. To make the seasoned flour, mix together the flour, slat, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin. Remove he quail halves from the buttermilk and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust them in the flour, shaking off any excess.
5. Warm 1 cm-deep vegetable oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-heat and shallow fry the quail. When they are crisp and golden on one side, flip them over and cook the other side They will need about 3-4 minutes per side.
6. When browned all over, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with the coleslaw.