Quail evoke an image of a hunting amidst briar patches with a pack of bird dogs in rolling hills (or so I’m told), so it’s no surprise that Dean Fearing, one of the godfathers of Southwest cuisine, is so adept with my favorite gamebird. I’ve been lucky enough to experience his fried quail at high-profile food festivals more than once in the past couple years, and he prepared a delectable version at the latest Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, which culminated in the sand, on a Ko Olina lagoon, with live music and fireworks filling the air.
For his latest culinary feat with my fine feathered friend, the quail, Fearing deep-fried the juicy bird and plated it with smoky bacon-enriched Gun Barrel City greens and sweet-spicy jalapeno creamed corn. The serving size easily doubled any other booth that circled the sand, cutting into my appetite. Still, considering the quail was so good, it was impossible to complain.