Grilled Flattened Quails

10:00 pm on 29 January 2005


  • 8 quails (baby chicken or chicken legs can also be used)
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh savory leaves (or fresh mixed herbs of choice), finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 4 salt anchovies, rinsed and filleted, or 8 fillets
  • 450 gms black olives, pitted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt


With poultry shears, split the quails down the length of the back from tail to neck. Open them out, skin-side up, on a work surface and press firmly on each with the heel of your hand to rupture the bones of the breast and rib cage (with baby chicken, remove the breast bone and flatten).

Sprinkle with pepper and herbs, rub with olive oil. Arrange them side by side on a platter, cover with plastic wrap and leave for four or five hours.

In a mortar pound the salt, garlic and anchovies to a paste. In a food processor add the paste to the olives and reduce to a coarse puree adding enough olive oil to render the puree supple but not liquid. Salt the quails.

On a preheated grill or barbecue grill for about 10 minutes, first on the skin side for three or four minutes (check to make sure the grill marks are golden brown, not black), then on the opened-out insides.

Serve with the sauce.

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