I was recently lucky enough to get some fresh quail eggs from a local quail farmer. They are so pretty and so tiny. So what exactly can you do with them and how to do it? My first choice was to pickle them. The instructions I found told me to boil them, peel them, place them in a jar and pour brine on them and keep in the refrigerator for a week before I eat them. Canning was not recommended. So there were several options on boiling them since they are so tiny. I could boil my water, place the eggs in the water and boil for 4 minutes and then put them in an ice water bath. This method sometimes, it said, resulted in cracked shells and egg escaping. Especially if the eggs are right out of the cold refrigerator. Sometimes room temperature or prewarming under warm water should help but no guarantee. So I opted for the second method which was to place all the eggs (18 of them) in cold water in a pan. I placed this on the stove and brought it just to a boil. I then removed it from the heat and let it set for 6 to 7 minutes then ran it under the cold water. This worked very well for me. I had no cracked eggs. I learned that quail eggs differ from chicken eggs in that they have a very thick membrane and peeling is a little tedious. I also learned to my delight that the inside of the quail egg shell is a beautiful sky blue color. You peel them in strips pinching the
peel with your fingers as you pull.
I placed these in a wide mouth Mason jar and prepared my brine. The brine I did was white vinegar with pickling spices. You could use wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
This recipe is for 12 quail eggs hard boiled and peeled.
1 cup vinegar.
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic peeled
5 whole peppercorns
3-4 whole allspice berries
1-2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seed
Bring all the ingredients to a boil about one minute till the salt dissolves
Pour hot brine and spices over the quail eggs in a wide mouth Mason jar.
Seal the lid and store in the refrigerator for at least a week till all the flavors infuse. Practical Self Reliance is the website where I found my information. practicalselfreliance.com
Pickled quail eggs will keep 2-3 months in the refrigerator. I doubt seriously they would not get eaten in one sitting at my house. This would be a fun and very unique gift.
These can be spiced up, colored with beet juice, herbs added.
I found plastic lids at Walmart in the canning aisle for wide mouth jars. This is important in working with vinegars as the metal lids will corrode.