Recipe: Grilled Quail with Adobo Rub and Chipotle-Grape Glaze

Grilled Quail with Adobo Rub and Chipotle-Grape Glaze

By - - Aug 18, 2016

Quail is one of my favorite proteins, and combining that with Grapes From California is a match made in heaven.

Servings: 4
Cook Time: 30 minutes


Aarón’s Adobo
  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 pasilla chiles , stemmed, seeded, deveined, and torn into small pieces
  • 2 ancho chiles , stemmed, seeded, deveined, and torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup dried whole oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • ¼ cup Spanish paprika (pimento), preferably sweet or hot
Chipotle-Grape Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ white onion
  • 1 pound seedless black grapes (summer royal variety)
  • 3 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 quails


1. Rinse the quail and pat dry, season with Aarón’s Adobo.
2. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Place the quail on the grill, not too close to the heat source, approximately 3-to-4 inches away. Grill for three minutes then turn over and baste with the chipotle glaze on the exposed side. Grill for another two minutes then turn over again and baste with the glaze. Total cooking time is approximately 8 minutes, depending on the size of the quail. Let rest, then serve.

Chipotle-Grape Glaze
1. In a sauce pot, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and cook the garlic cloves and onion for approximately 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the grapes, chipotle peppers, sugar and orange juice. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and has a caramel-like consistency, approximately 15-20 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and has a sauce consistency. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Aarón’s Adobo
1. Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in the cumin, coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds along with the pieces of pasilla and ancho chiles. Toast, stirring constantly, until it’s very aromatic and just begins to smoke, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture onto a plate and let it cool to room temperature. Grind it to a fine powder in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Put the powder in a large bowl and add the oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir them really well to combine.

NOTE: you can substitute chicken for the quail using the same cooking method.

1. Rinse the thighs and pat dry, season with Aarón’s Adobo.
2. Preheat the grill. Pat dry the thighs with couple of paper towels, Season chicken with adobo, salt and pepper. Place chicken on oiled grill skin side down and cook for 6 minutes on each side. When mostly cooked start basting with chipotle grape glaze; turning and basting until the thighs are cooked through and nicely caramelized. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.