Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Quail Preserved in Olive Oil (Peloponnesos)


  • 8 quail
  • Coarse kosher or sea salt
  • Zest of 1 orange, cut into thick strips
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Makes 4 servings


1. Rinse the quail and remove any feathers that still might be attached to the birds. Using a sharp boning knife, butterfly the birds by slitting them slightly down the center, running the knife along the breastbone. Place in layers in a colander, set in a large bowl and sprinkle ample salt, enough to cover the birds like snow, over each layer. Let the birds drain overnight in the refrigerator.

2. The next day, shake off any excess salt. Place the quail in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Add the orange zest. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the quail for about 45 minutes. Drain.

To serve, remove them from the oil and place on a plate. Serve with bread, olives, cheese, or any other simple mezethes.

3. Place the quail in a large glass jar together with the orange zest. Pour in enough olive oil to cover them. Let the birds cool with the jar lid off, then keep in the refrigerator. They will keep this way for at least a month.

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