Barbecued Quail with Lentils and Tomato Salad

6th October 2016

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Steve Ryan

“Fergus made the marinade, I’m doing the barbecuing. We cook quail a lot in this house – they’re nice and easy and the kids love them. If you don’t have a barbecue, just roast them nice and easy. Make sure they’re well cooked.”
Margot Henderson, chef, London

Serves 4 to 6


Quail and marinade:

8 quail
2 tbsp verjuice
40 ml extra virgin olive oil to gently coat
2 tbsp of sumac
A decent sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


300g puy lentils
40ml extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ bulb fennel, chopped
1 leek, chopped
250g girolles
1 bunch of Swiss chard or a few handfuls of sprout tops, roughly chopped

Tomato salad:

500g of heritage tomatoes, quartered
A handful of basil, leaves torn
A small handful of lovage, leaves torn (optional)
70ml extra virgin olive oil
20ml red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper


For barbecues, it’s best to spatchcock the bird by chopping out the back bone with a pair of kitchen scissors.

Mix the marinade ingredients, rub over the birds and leave for at least 1 hour (the longer the better).

Cook the lentils in a medium pot of salted water until tender, 10-15 minutes, then drain and set aside. Season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a good splash of olive oil.

In a separate pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat, add the garlic, shallots, leek and fennel and cook until soft and giving. Add the cleaned mushrooms and cook until unctuous. Stir in the lentils. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Finally add the greens, and once they have wilted in check again for seasoning.

For the tomato salad, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and drizzle over the tomatoes and basil. Mix.

Fire up the barbecue. When the flames have died down, add the quail, keeping a close eye on them to prevent burning. Turn them with a tongs to ensure they’re cooked evenly. Make sure they don’t get to blackened but don’t be afraid of a little zing. They should take about 15 minutes.

Serve everyone one quail for starters, with lentils and tomato salad on the side.






Posted 6th October 2016

In Recipes


Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Steve Ryan