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Buttermilk Fried Quail Legs

Talk about pretty legs!

Pretty bird legs! No not those thin, little legs you might see on someone so skinny that if you were to put them on a flagpole they would wave in the wind. That certainly doesn’t describe me and probably never will. Although my sister (twin) and I did have little bird legs when we were young. I don’t think we ate much other than Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. That changed, hence the current results.

So these pretty little legs were from a few quail that gave their lives for us to enjoy them as an appetizer on New Year’s Eve. (That sounds pretty sad – but they were delicious.) They were so good I have to say thank you little quails. Normally I’m not that great frying things and my husband does all that outside on the grill with his huge 13″ cast iron skillet. This particular New Year’s Eve it was rainy and cold, just us, and me not wanting to go all out making fancy appetizers for just two people, I decided to boil some shrimp and make a good cocktail sauce and then decided I’d better fry these little legs inside.

I found the seasoned flour recipe at and the Jalapeño Gravy is one that I came up with after a trip to Big Bend a couple of years ago. Long story short, my husband couldn’t believe I fried these little morsels of crunchy, spicy, tender legs. He commented several times how good they were and since he is trying to perfect his fried chicken (cooking outside) I gave him my list of secret spices and we will see what he does with that information.

Next time I’m at the grocery, I’m stocking up on a couple of packs of these frozen quail legs.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: I first made these Shrimp Corn Dogs with Blueberry Mustard Sauce after we served them at our son, Paul’s/Brooke’s rehearsal dinner at Moonshine Grill in Austin. They are still a favorite of mine and I love the sauce.

All of these little legs just waiting to jump into that buttermilk.

Soak in the buttermilk for at least 2 – 4 hours.

All the spices into the flour. For some reason (maybe because my hands were so messy) I did not get pictures of the dry/wet/dry procedure to bread the legs.


That picture makes me want to rush out and buy more quail legs. I usually pay $10 a box and they are in the freezer section and there are 20 leg/quarters in a package.

No gravy yet but it is in the skillet.

The jalapeño gravy is so good with these little legs and I sprinkled them with some of my black sea salt.  The micro greens around the dish of gravy I grew my self with a kit.


Buttermilk Fried Quail Legs


  • 1 pkg. quail legs about 20 to package
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Seasoned flour:
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour for dredging
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • Jalapeno Gravy:
  • 1 Tbsp. bacon fat
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Put the quail leg quarters in bowl and add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and salt. Mix and turn to cover the quail with the milk. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Combine all the seasonings with the flour. Put the 1/2 c. all purpose flour (for dredging) in one dish, the buttermilk in a second dish and the seasoned flour mixture into a third dish. Remove a couple of the quail leg/thigh from the buttermilk and put into the plain flour making sure it is covered with flour. Shake off the leg a little and then add to the buttermilk that you have put into a second dish and then drop into the seasoned flour and turn to coat. Put these on a rimmed cookie sheet. Continue with the remaining quail legs and then refrigerate the breaded legs for about 30 minutes.

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