Greenham Quail is a family-owned business run by John and Jane Hooton, along with their son Nick and have been producing quail eggs, from home-reared birds, in increasing numbers since 1991. The Hooton’s primary concern is for the well-being of the flock, resulting in exceptional quality eggs. All the birds are fed GM-free and drug-free food from the day of hatching.
A quail is a small game bird from the pheasant and partridge family. They are brown and small; they are about 10-20 cm/ 4-8 inches, and they weigh between 70 and 140 g/ 2.5-5 oz. That’s why their eggs are so small compared to those of a chicken. They are wild birds, but they are also kept as poultry birds, both for their meat and eggs. Fresh quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, and buying them might not always be an easy task. However, they are becoming more popular nowadays; I usually find them in larger supermarkets.
A quail’s egg is tiny; it only weighs about 9-10 g/ ⅓ oz. As a comparison, a regular chicken egg weighs about 50 g/ 1.8 oz, while duck eggs weigh about 70 g/2.5 oz. You would need about 4-5 tiny eggs to make up for one normal egg. They are whitish cream and speckled with brown or grey spots. Their yolk is intensely yellow. Despite their small size, they are packed with nutrients like Vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, choline, and iron. One piece only has 14 calories.
Here’s a great recipe for Quail eggs.
Chorizo scotch quail’s eggs
For the eggs
1 tbsp vinegar
12 quail’s eggs
100g stale bread
100g blanched almonds
a small pack of flat-leaf parsley
250g cooking chorizo
2 hen’s eggs
3 tbsp plain flour
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
For the mayonnaise
5 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp smoked paprika.
Fill a large pan with water and a good-sized bowl with iced water. Bring the water in the pan to a rolling boil, add the vinegar, then slowly lower in your quail’s eggs with a spoon. Let them cook for 1 min, then quickly take the pan off the heat and let them sit in the water for 30 secs. Scoop the eggs out with a slotted spoon and plunge straight into the bowl of iced water. Leave them to cool for 10 mins while you prepare the coatings.
Put the stale bread, almonds and parsley in a food processor and blitz until evenly chopped into very fine pieces, then season well and transfer to a shallow dish. Remove the outer casing from the chorizo and discard it, roughly chop the chorizo and put it in the food processor along with 1 hen’s egg. Blitz briefly until just smooth. Divide the mixture into 12 patties and put them on a plate or tray. Set up 3 bowls with the flour in one, the remaining egg, beaten, in the second, and the crumb mix in the third.
Carefully peel the quail’s eggs, taking care not to expose the yolk, which should be softly boiled. Place 1 chorizo patty on top of a piece of cling film. Flatten it as thin as you can, then put a quail’s egg on top. Use the cling film to help you draw the edges of the patty up and around the egg until it’s completely enclosed. Twist the ends of the cling film together to tightly form it into a ball. Unwrap the scotch egg and roll it first in the flour, then dip it in the beaten egg, followed by rolling it in the crumb mix. Repeat the beaten egg and crumb mix step to ensure a generous coating, then repeat the whole process for the rest of the eggs.
Half-fill a medium-sized saucepan with sunflower oil and heat it until it reaches around 180C. Lower the scotch eggs using a slotted spoon and fry for 5 mins. Only cook 2 or 3 at a time to avoid overcrowding. If the Scotch eggs are browning very quickly, turn the heat down, but do leave them in the oil for the full 5 mins to ensure the chorizo is cooked through. When done, scoop them out with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil. Repeat with all the eggs. While still hot but cool enough to be handled, cut each in half and arrange on a platter.
In a small bowl, stir the mayonnaise and smoked paprika together, and serve as a dip on the side.