Southern Alabama is filled with hunting camps, and quail season is well underway during Mardi Gras. This dish, from longtime Mobile caterer Martha Rutledge, combines two of the most appreciated local ingredients: the aforementioned quail, and shrimp.
10 tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
8 cups fresh bread crumbs
1⁄2 bunch parsley, trimmed and chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. dried summer savory
3–4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3⁄4 cup Chicken Stock
6 tbsp. cream sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 medium shrimp, peeled and chopped
8 boneless quail
8 slices bacon
1 tbsp. chopped dried rosemary leaves
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft, 5–7 minutes. Transfer onions and any accumulated juices to a large mixing bowl, then add bread crumbs, parsley, fresh rosemary, summer savory, sage, chicken stock, and sherry, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to mix well, then add shrimp and mix well again. Set stuffing aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375º. Rinse quail under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels. Pack each cavity full of the stuffing. Wrap a slice of bacon around the middle of each quail, then season each with some dried rosemary and seasoned salt to taste. Arrange quail, breast side up, in a large, lightly greased baking dish. Roast, basting with pan juices occasionally, until bacon is crisp and quail are golden and cooked through, 35–45 minutes.