Southern-fried quail with blue cheese dressing

Try a more refined type of fried chicken using quail with an indulgent blue cheese dipping sauce. These golden-brown bites are perfect party food

  • Prep:10 mins
    Cook:6 mins
    plus at least 6 hrs marinating
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 689
  • fat 42g
  • saturates 6g
  • carbs 51g
  • sugars 3g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 25g
  • salt 0.9g


  • 100ml buttermilk
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 quails, split in half through the middle so you have six halves
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • celery leaves, to serve (optional)
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk
  • 40g soft blue cheese, crumbled
  • pinch celery salt
  • 250g plain flour
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp onion salt
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes


  1. Mix the 100ml buttermilk, cumin and a large pinch of salt together in a bowl. Put the quail halves in the buttermilk mix so they are completely covered, then chill for at least 6 hrs or overnight.

  2. To make the dressing, beat the mayonnaise, buttermilk, cheese and celery salt together – don’t worry if it’s not totally smooth. Keep chilled.

  3. When ready to cook, mix all the spiced flour ingredients together. Heat a deep-fat fryer or a deep pan with sunflower oil to 175C. Remove the quail from the fridge, then dip each half in the spiced our and carefully drop them in the fryer.

  4. Fry for about 6 mins until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper and leave to rest for 2 mins or so. Pile onto a large serving plate, put the blue cheese sauce on the side for dipping, and scatter over the celery leaves, if you like.

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