Chicken-Fried Quail with Jalapeño Cream Gravy

  • Yield: servings

Don Strange added his own innovative spin to the sauce by stirring in fresh jalapenos, turning the humble white gravy into a flavor-packed sauce with a nice little zing.


18 semi-boneless quail
4 all-purpose flour, seasoned liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten well with 5 cups evaporated milk
6 panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs, seasoned with 1 tablespoon each kosher salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic
1 inch of canola oil in a 12-inch skillet, heated to 350 degrees
Jalapeno Cream Gravy:
1/2cup bacon and or sausage drippings
2 jalapenos, seeds and veins removed, minced
1/2cup all-purpose flour
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional for garnish
4cups whole milk, or more as needed
1/2 of a Knorr chicken bouillon cube


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pat quail dry using absorbent paper towels. Dredge quail in the seasoned flour, coating well and shaking off excess. Dip quail in the egg wash, coating well. Dredge quail in the seasoned panko bread crumbs, patting the crumbs into the egg wash and coating well. Shake off excess. Arrange quail, not touching, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fry the quail in batches, about 6 ata time and without crowding, in the preheated oil. Cook about 6 to 7 minutes per side, turning once. Arrange quail in a single layer on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Keep hot in preheated oven while frying the remaining quail.
  2. To make the gravy, heat the drippings in a deep-sided, heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium heat. When the fat is hot, add the jalapenos and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and the 1/2 bouillon cube, blending well with the flour. Bring to a boil to thicken, whisking often to dissolve the bouillon cub.
  3. Pile the quail on a large serving platter and pour the gravy into a bowl. Serve hot.

Reprinted with permission from Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes