Black Tea Smoked Quails



half quails (deboned)


¾ tbsp

Schezuan peppercorns

¾ tbsp

black peppercorn

250 mL

dry Sherry

30 mL

light soy sauce

2 tsp

orange zest (chopped)


green onion (minced)

1 tbsp

minced ginger


200 gr

orange segments (diced)

30 gr

shallot (chopped fine)

1 pc

green onions (sliced fine)

40 mL

sesame oil

20 mL

rice vinegar


Sambal (to taste)

5 gr

chopped cilantro


For the marinade, roast the peppercorns in a hot, dry skillet until they smoke. Remove from the heat, crush with a spice grinder and mix in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Marinate the quails in the marinade in a non-reactive pan for 6-12 hours.

After marinating, remove the quails from the marinade; smoke them for 7-8 minutes in a smoker over a mixture of:

    1-cup black tea

    ½ cup raw rice

    ¼ cup alder wood chips

Remove and set aside.

Smoking method for the home cook:

Line bottom of a thick wok with a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spread tea leaves, rice, wood chips (smoking chips are available at hardware stores) evenly in bottom of wok. Spray a small wire rack with cooking spray and place in the wok. Heat wok over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to smoke, about 10 minutes. Place quails on rack, cover wok and smoke for about 12 minutes for a subtle smoky flavor. Prolonged smoking gives the quails an overwhelmingly smoky taste, so it is better to err on the side of caution.

Prepare the chutney by dicing the orange segments. Place the segments in a bowl and add the shallot, green onion, sesame oil, rice vinegar and Sambal. When correctly seasoned add the cilantro to the mix, set aside.

Roast the quails in a hot (425 F) oven until the skin is crisp and the breast is cooked medium rare. Remove from the heat and let rest.

Slice the quail breast on top of a crouton with the chutney, a bit of greens and serve.

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