Mesquite-Grilled Quail with Butternut Squash Curry, Coconut Rice and Parsnip Chips


Courtesy of Brandon Fuller, Café Josie
Photography by Jody Horton

I got the quail from Texas Quail Farms in Lockhart and topped it off with a sweet-and-sour glaze. A lot of people think butternut squash is only a fall vegetable, but it actually has a long growing season in Texas that extends into the spring. The coconut rice really soaks up the curry, and the lime wedges, fresh basil and cilantro garnishes give the dish a great brightness.


Mesquite-Grilled Quail with Butternut Squash Curry, Coconut Rice and Parsnip Chips


For 4 Person(s)


  • For the quail:
  • 4 semi-boneless quail
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • For the curry:
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded and diced
  • 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
  • Water (if needed)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 Thai basil leaves, torn
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro leaves and lime wedges, to garnish
  • For the rice:
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • For the chips:
  • 2 cups neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 parsnip, peeled
  • Salt, to taste

Mesquite-Grilled Quail with Butternut Squash Curry, Coconut Rice and Parsnip Chips Directions

  1. Preheat a grill to 350°.
  2. Season the quail with salt and black pepper and grill them, turning once, until just pink in the middle—approximately 4 minutes per side. Alternatively, cook the quail on the stove top by searing them over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes per side, or roast them in the oven at 450° for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Make the curry. In a medium saucepan, sweat the shallot, garlic and Thai chili in the coconut oil until the shallots are translucent—approximately 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook until fragrant—approximately 2 minutes. Add the butternut squash and stir to coat. Add the coconut milk and water (if needed) to cover.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender—about 20 to 25 minutes. Finish the curry with the brown sugar, torn Thai basil leaves, lime juice and salt and black pepper.
  5. Rinse the rice in strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Combine with the remaining ingredients for the rice in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook over low heat until done—approximately 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  6. Make the parsnip chips. Heat the oil in a pot on the stove top to 300°. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the parsnip into thin strips. Drop the strips into the oil and cook until golden brown and very few bubbles form. Remove from the oil and season with salt.
  7. To serve, spoon some of the rice onto a plate and ladle some of the curry over the top. Cut the quail into quarters and place on top of the curry. Garnish with the parsnip chips and additional Thai basil leaves, cilantro and lime wedges.

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