While there are several methods of processing a quail for meat, this is the simplest & fastest method.  We recommend processing your bird outside (near a hose) with a pair of kitchen scissors.

  1. Hold the bird firmly and use the scissors to cut off its head fully off.  The goal is to do so in one smooth motion to minimize any discomfort/pain to the bird.  Be prepared that after removing the head, blood will squirt from the neck (gross) and the muscles will spasm for about 30 seconds.
  2. With the scissors, cut off the wings near the base and the feet. (around the knee).
  3. You don't need to bother plucking the feathers as the skin is very thin and rips easily.  Start with the breast area, rip the skin apart (like a bag of chips) and remove the skin from the bird.  It will now look like a raw piece of meat.
  4. Cut along the spine on both side to remove the spine, neck and innards.
  5. Wash off the meat with a hose to remove any remaining feathers and guts.  Soak the meat in ice water with salt to remove any remaining blood.
  6. Dry the bird and let it sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.  This allows the muscles to relax and the meat to become more tender.
  7. Find a good recipe and enjoy!

Before beginning, I suggest watching this YouTube video (be warned that the video shows an actual quail being slaughtered)...

Processing a quail video.