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brine and marinade.

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is it okay to brine my quail in salt/water for a few hours and then marinade them in some citrus juices and vinegar, etc? should i even brine them or just marinade them?

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  1. adkim, my inclination is to say just marinade them. i've actually never read of quail ever being brined.. but maybe there's a more scientifically knowledgable CH out there.

    1. Gosh, NO. They're too tiny. The texture of the flesh would be destroyed by brining.
      You probably don't want to marinate them for more than a few minutes, if at all. Again, due to their size, the acids in citrus or vinegar could affect the texture. Use those in a pan sauce or glaze instead.

      1. thanks, guys. i will marinade them for a 1/2 hour then make a reduction w/ the marinade and glaze them while they are finishing up on the grill.

        1. The Food Nannies tell you to throw away the marinade - food safety issue. Something about uncooked juices, etc., not being cooked enough while you're using it to baste/glaze to kill any bacteria. This might be overcome while you are reducing but it might be safer to make a little extra marinade and use that for your reduction/sauce.
          And don't forget about the birdies marinating - they are so tiny and can get mushy very quickly in an acid marinade! A half hour can be a long time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense

            As long as you boil the marinade, you'll be fine. A reduced marinade is quite obviously boiled or simmered for a long time.

          2. Just make a little extra marinade and set it aside to use for the glaze.

            1. yeah. i always throw out the marinade juice and keep extra on the side for reducing and glazing. thanks.

              1. If it was me, I'd brine with spices and perhaps citrus rind in weak salt water
                (and not marinade in any acid)
                then make reduction/sauce with your vinegar