Quail Wrapped in Clay


Photo Credit: Theresa Carle-Sanders, 2012

It’s rare when your passions collide…..What Can I Say About “Outlander” ?

Besides my hobby of grilling and cooking, I am also a history buff and  sci-fi fan who loves all genres of music, movies and books. And I was already in love with Sean Connery from his James Bond Days as well as a fan of the “Highlander” movies and television series by the same name.

To make a long story short………

I was in grad school when the  first novel of a series of eight books by Diana Gabaldon were first published in 1991 under the title “Cross Stitch“, like a cross stitch in time… and I totally missed the literary phenomenon of the decade, until I recently stumbled upon Starz’s original cable programming premiering on August 2014,  “Outlander“, which is based on the highly successful novels. Like the novels, the  cable television show focuses on a 20th century nurse named Claire Randall, who time travels to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the dashing James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser.

Watching the first season of “Outlander” has made me go out and by the books, and it was not easy tracking down first editions of these actual books these days, that are not reprints…. and I have been catching up on the reading of these fantastical wonderful novels ever since.

I know I am late, coming  to the “Outlander” party, but another thing that I came across in my search for the novels was the number of websites and blogs dedicated to the culinary delights set in the part historical fiction, part sci-fi, part romance, part adventure, part mystery novels….the books fascinate me as they defy all categories of classification as well as my curiosity as to what the characters ate during their daily lives and adventures. According to the author, Diana Gabaldon, from the fourth novel in the series, “Drums of Autumn“:

“The food was either terribly bad or terribly good,” Claire had said, describing her adventures in the past. “That’s because there’s no way of keeping things; anything you eat has either been salted or preserved in lard, if it isn’t half rancid – or else it’s fresh off the hoof or out of the garden, in which case it can be bloody marvelous.”

Here is description of Quail Wrapped in Clay from “The Fiery Cross” :

“Dirty fighting is the only kind there is”, Fraser had told him, panting, as they knelt at the stream and splashed cold water over sweating faces. “Anything else is no but exhibition”. His head jerked on his neck and he blinked, coming back abruptly from the grate and crash of wooden swords to the dim warmth of the cabin. The platter was gone; Brianna was cursing softly under her breath at the sideboard, banging the hilt of his dirk against the blackened lumps of clay-baked quail to crack them open. —-Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 87 – En Garde)

Can you imagine how to prepared quail wrapped in clay and baked in the embers of a fire?

Can you even imagine picking out bits of clay from beneath teeny-tiny wings just to get enough sustenance for your next day’s trials?


Photo Credit: Theresa Carle-Sanders, 2012

But never fear!

Professional Chef, Food Writer, Blogger and an unabashed fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Theresa Carle-Sanders has developed a recipe for Quail Wrapped in Clay that is authentic as you can get in these modern times. Her recipe can be found here, at this link: Outlander Kitchen .

Chef Carle-Sanders provides step-by-step photographs in the preparation of this dish….Some day, I will be bold enough to try it……I like a culinary challenge every now and then.

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