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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:09 am 
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This is our first attempt at processing a quail. This bird is not ready - it's just five weeks old. We did this because it had a twisty neck and wasn't going to survive so we processed it early as a trial run. For interest though, this five week old quail dressed out at 110 grams.

Firstly the bird was killed by dislocation of the neck.

This is the dressing process. This is all done with a pair of secateurs and some paper towel.

The head is removed.

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Then the legs are removed.

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And the wings are severed at the joint where they join the body.

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Next you cut around and remove the tail.

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Now you can start at the back and gradually peel the whole skin off the carcase of the quail. It turns inside out and you can pull it off the other side of the body.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:15 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:18 am 
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You now have a skinned carcase.

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the next step is to remove the backbone. You take the secateurs and cut through the carcase on one side.

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Then you repeat the cut on the other side of the backbone.

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You should be able to very quickly and easily lift the whole backbone out.

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You can now pull all the guts out after the backbone is removed. We used a paper towel to grab it all and pull it out.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:21 am 
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Check for any remaining bits. We had a bit of lung left behind.

When it's empty wash the whole carcase under clean water.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:24 am 
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Once it's clean you should have a nice meaty little quail carcase ready for spatchcocking.

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Take your secateurs or a knife and cut through the breastbone slightly so that you can turn it out and press it down flat.

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And that's it. One skinned and spatchcocked quail ready for cooking.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:28 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Very clear and helpful! How easy are they to pluck?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:21 pm 
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Great documentation! :-) It looks to me to be a lot of work for not much meat so I hope it is tasty. I saw some in Coles supermarket last month - gourmet products but can't remember the price/kg.

Rach, I think Ben skinned rather than plucked it? :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:32 pm 
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Not a lot of work, just took a lot of photos. Yes, it was skinned. All very quick.

A video would be better. Maybe next time. This was a first go at it. We have ten to do in about three weeks.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:16 pm 
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The process took about five minutes max. I also snipped off the tail. This allows for the skin and feathers to be removed in one piece. As the skin is very soft you can simply tear it below the vent and then it can be pulled up over the breast and down around the tail.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:47 pm 
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I thought it actually looked quite meaty for it's small size - quite nice little breasts developing! Great photos.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:59 pm 
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Nothing tastier. Can I call around for dinner tonight?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Denis, I am still working on the recipe for smoking quail. I have my smoker organised, but some people say that it is better to soak them in brine for several hours prior to smoking and smoking it for a shorter time at a lower temperature, while others say just prepare the quail, stuff them and wrap them in Bruschetta, then smoke them at 170 degrees for between one and two hours. I presume that is Farenheit and not Celsius but I need to make sure. Any cold smoking should be done on cured meat I would have thought and only non cured meats should be hot smoked. Anyway once I have completed the research, I will process and put up pictures of the results. If you come to dinner tonight, you will be bitterly disappointed.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:48 pm 
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I've put a link to this in the gardening and Cooking Forum and added it to the Killing and Processing Index there too.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Thanks for this useful thread and the clear pictures. I didn't think that processing quail is so quick and easy. The amount of breast meat is impressive for such a young bird.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:43 pm 
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I know it was skinned :) But if one wanted to pluck instead how fiddly would that be?

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