Po Man Grill Spit Roasted Rosemary Garlic Butter Quail
If you have ever spent much time in the Deep South, particularly along the Gulf Coast, then you have probably seen someone grilling or smoking meat or fish in what looks like a trash can. That's because it was a trash can. Folks have been making these trash can cookers for years. They work, but they aren't without problems. First, many of them are made from galvanized metal, which gives off toxic fumes when it gets really hot, and second, they were usually just cobbled together from whatever parts the maker found lying around. Not that great for consistent, even cooking.
For fuel, the Po Man uses standard charcoal briquettes, about 50 will fill the basket and cook for up to five hours. The charcoal is lit by lowering the basket over a small tub of burning rubbing alcohol, yep, the same stuff you have in your medicine cabinet, for an odorless, tasteless flame that burns long enough to fully start the charcoal above. I didn't do all the math, but I figure a full basket of premium charcoal and an ounce or two of alcohol comes in right around two bucks, pretty cheap for hours of cooking time.
One of the first recipes I wanted to try on the cooker was to spit roast some quail. Being fresh out of what few quail we managed to put in the freezer last fall, I started checking around with field trial buddies. Sure enough, one of them had a few extra birds. The recipe turned out perfectly cooked quail, with a golden, crisp, skin and a moist and flavorful meat. True to the claims, the Po Man was easy to use. The flavor comes from a combination of factors on the grill. First, from the slow-burning charcoal embers, then from the flavor-packed steam that forms as the juice from the birds drips down onto the steel drip plate then rises back up to envelop the quail.
1-2 skin on quail per person
2 sticks of butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Set the butter out to soften. Lightly blot the quail with a paper towel to dry the skin. Sprinkle the birds with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix the softened butter with the garlic and rosemary to form a paste. Rub the butter all over the quail, coating all portions of the skin. Reserve the remaining garlic butter and melt it in the microwave or a saucepan