Kitchen confidential: Will Richey, Revolutionary Soup
The secret to great cooking is: a deep love of food combined with intense practice and lots of room to make mistakes!
The secret to success in the restaurant business is: 98 percent perspiration, 1 percent inspiration, and 1 percent patience.
The secret to making Will Richey's Southern fried quail is: technique.
Will Richey's Southern fried quail
1 whole quail
Crisco (or vegetable oil)
Take your whole bone-in quail and pat them dry with paper towel.
Cut off the wings and discard or save and fry with the quail for a little snack.
Cut the quail into 4 pieces, taking the thigh meat with the leg so that you have two breast pieces and two leg/thigh pieces. Set aside.
In your largest cast iron pan, melt half butter and half Crisco (or vegetable oil) so that you have a quarter inch of fat in the pan.
Pat dry the quail pieces once again and dredge them in salted and peppered flour.
Bring fat up to med-high and place the quail pieces in the pan, being sure not to crowd them (put the breasts in the center because it is the hottest).
Brown the quail on the first side until dark golden (2 min), turn, and brown the other side for half the time. Cover and turn the heat to low.
Cook quail on low heat for roughly 7 minutes or until cooked through. Do not overcook!
Remove the lid and turn heat back up to medium high to crisp the quail pieces. Fry quail on both sides until nicely browned and crispy.
Remove the pieces from the pan and salt and pepper immediately to taste.
Serve in the bowl with a good Burgundy and plenty of paper towels and insist that your guests eat them with their hands.
It's actually my grandmother's recipe. Best damn fried quail I ever had!
Will Richey with his (grandmother's) Southern fried quail.
PHOTO BY WILL WALKER