Quail is a meal that takes time to prepare, and time to savour. With this Basque recipe, a delicious sauce brings the flavours together beautifully. This recipe is for four people.


  • 8 spatchcocked quails
For the marinade
  • 300 ml of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine
  • 150 ml of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely slivered
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Salt and black pepper
For the sauce
  • 2 slices of country bread, crusts removed, soaked and squeezed dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly crushed with a little salt


Thread the quails on skewers to keep them spread out flat. Sprinkle both sides with the marinade ingredients and set aside to take the flavours for an hour or two at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge. Preheat the grill or heat the oven to maximum. Grill or roast the birds for 10 minutes on one side. Turn, baste and allow another 5-8 minutes on the other side, until the flesh is firm and the skin beautifully browned. Test by pushing a fine skewer into the breast and thigh of one of the birds. The juice should run clear. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put all the ingredients except the oil in the liquidizer and process to a thick purée, then add the oil slowly in a thin stream - as if making a mayonnaise - until you have a creamy sauce. Serve with thick cuts of toasted bread to catch the drippings, with the sauce served separately.