To prepare them, thaw the frozen birds in the refrigerator overnight, then rinse them thoroughly in cool water. Drain the birds and pat them dry inside and out. Look them over for any tiny pinfeathers and pull them out with your fingers or tweezers.
Either tuck the wing tips behind the backs of the quail or trim them off at the first joint with kitchen shears. Stuff the birds if called for in the recipe. Tie the legs together with a bit of kitchen string.
When grilling quail, I cook the meat just until it is browned on the outside and rosy and juicy on the inside. When preparing quail in a stew or braised dish, I cook it longer-until the meat is tender enough to pull right off with a fork.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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