What Does Quail Taste Like? The Ultimate Guide

A little more than four years ago, I decided to research adding a flock of chickens to my homestead.  I already had a good garden going and had always wanted fresh farm eggs.  I researched everything I could find on chickens.

At the same time, I decided to join some Facebook pages with like-minded individuals devoted to keeping a flock.  After a while, I began to notice that many were posting as much about keeping quail as they were chickens.  

It had never entered my mind the possibility of keeping quail.  Although most of those posting on the Facebook pages admitted they chose quail more as a meat bird, some chose them for the dual purpose of both meat and eggs.  And then there are those flock keepers that kept them solely for their eggs.

Quail are one of the smallest fowl, classified in the pheasant family, as well as producers of one of the smallest eggs.  They can be easily recognized by the plume that is present on the top of their heads.  Quail are small, dainty, and rather regal in stature.

A fun fact that I learned while researching this article is that, unlike a chicken that can only lay at most one egg a day, quail are capable of laying ten to twenty at one time.  This fact means they are one overachieving little bird!

With this newfound information, I wondered, what does quail taste like? Is it the same as or utterly different from chicken? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about adding this little bird to your table!

What Does Quail Taste Like?

We have all heard that saying that when someone asks what something tastes like, they will almost assuredly reply “chicken.”  In the case of quail, some remark that it reminds them of chicken – only much better.

Like with any other type of food, the taste is relative.  What one considers to taste good may not necessarily be the same for another.  With that said, when asked what quail tastes like, some have stated that it reminds them of duck.

The reason is most probably because the breast meat of the duck is dark meat, unlike the white meat of a chicken’s breast.  Like a duck, quail breast has dark meat as well.

The one thing that many agree on that is that quail, as a game bird, has a wild game taste that more than rivals the taste of their fellow fowl brethren, the chicken, and the duck.  

What’s the Texture of Quail Like?

Since quail is similar in taste to both chicken and duck, the meat’s texture is also similar.  Quail is versatile in that it can be cooked in a variety of ways-roasted, grilled, broiled, and even sauteed.  However, you choose to fix quail, the texture of the resulting meat will depend on being sure to use the proper temperature. 

Quail meat is tender, plump, and juicy.  The texture of their flesh, like other members of fowl, is mainly dependent on and affected by their overall diet.  Farm-raised quail will have meat much like that of chicken because their diet is controlled and regulated.   In contrast, free-range quail enjoy a diet of plants and fruits, which contribute to the overall best taste to their flesh.

What Tastes Similar to Quail?

Depending on who you ask, quail meat is often compared in taste to other fowl, such as ducks, chickens, goose, and wild pheasant.  

How to Serve Quail

Although quail is a much smaller bird than a chicken or a duck, the taste is much better than either of these other birds.  When cooking a quail, its bones will be so soft that you can eat them with the meat if you desire.

When shopping for quail, make sure that it is pinkish in color and has yellow skin.   The quail should also be nice and plump.

When cooked at the proper temperature, quail has nice tender flesh.  However, if allowed to cook for too long, moisture will evaporate, resulting in hard flesh.

Quail has traditionally been used in Indian-influence recipes as well as in many a savory and continental recipe.  When adequately prepared, quail is considered a delicacy to be enjoyed for either a light lunch or a dinner.  

Many prefer roasted quail the most.

The standard rule of thumb when choosing to roast a quail is hot and fast-really hot and really fast. That means at a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit for only fifteen minutes or so. 

It’s best to start with your bird being at room temperature.  Although this roasting method will cook the quail sufficiently, it will remain a little pale-looking in appearance.  However, remember that this is a small trade-off for tender, juicy, and tasty meat.

Is Quail Good for You?

Quail meat wins out when comparing the benefits between quail meat and chicken or duck meat.  It offers more amino acids than chicken does and more minerals and vitamins than is commonly found in either chicken or duck.

Quail is full of nutrients that we need for a healthy lifestyle, including fat, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and phosphor.  It also offers essential vitamins such as A, B, D, and K.

Quail contain nutrients that aid in strengthening eyesight, promoting healthier skin and stronger bones, and improving the respiratory system.  Not to be overlooked is the fact that quail aids in fixing body tissues and strengthening the body’s immune system.

Quail meat also offers the benefits of being an excellent aid for both digestion and brain function.  The meat also improves hair growth and is thought to be highly beneficial to women who are pregnant.

In a nutshell, quail meat is beneficial to your vision, skin, bones, body tissues, and immune system.  Quail is also a good choice for those individuals concerned about or dealing with heart health.  

Quail has also believed in providing those who eat it an extra added energy boost.

What Do Quail Eggs Taste Like?

If you have ever seen a quail egg, you are sure to have noticed how small they are-only one-third the size of an ordinary chicken egg.  

Quail eggs are quickly becoming a favorite alternative to chicken eggs as the preferred choice in cooking.  Even though they are small in size, quail eggs are chock full of a multitude of vitamins and minerals.

Many people wonder if quail eggs taste like chicken eggs.  The answer is yes-and-no.  In some ways, quail eggs have a similar taste to chicken eggs, but there are a few subtleties that set them apart.  

Quail eggs have a much larger yolk to white ratio, giving them a much creamier texture than is seen with chicken eggs.  Some will claim that quail eggs are closer in flavor to duck eggs, but the flavor is not quite as strong or rich.  Others feel quail eggs are similar in taste to chicken eggs but with much more flavor.

Quail eggs are the perfect choice when looking to substitute chicken eggs in a recipe due to their meaty and rich consistency.  A word of note though, if you consume a significant amount of quail eggs, you will raise your cholesterol.  However, the good cholesterol HDL is usually shown to rise, with the bad cholesterol LDL showing as being reduced.