David Scott AllenMain CoursePoultryProvencal RecipesTaste

A Provencal Meal with Quail and Rice

Traditional Provencal food is anything but fancy. Sure the Côte d’Azur has always had a particular cache and of course Aix-en-Provence borders on regal, but the countryside where the grapes, olives and everything else grows is where the real Provençaux live trying to earn a living from their farms. In this Cocoa & Lavender recipe, David explores a dish that is similar to a paella with rice and quail.

Quail cailles aux riz Recipes Tastes Provence

Cailles aux riz Provençal

According to Cocoa & Lavender: Overall, this dish is similar to a paella: a rice dish with bits of meat and vegetables added to give flavour, texture, as visual interest. The little bit is sauce on top could be increased but it seemed just right as is.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 large Onion halved and sliced
  • 3 small Carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 3 stalks Celery cut into matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 tsp lavender buds crushed
  • large pinch salt
  • 3 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 1/2 cups Chicken Broth simmering
  • 8 semi-boneless quail washed and patted dry
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium-low heat.
  • Slowly cook the onion, carrot, and celery for 10 minutes, until soft but not brown.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high.
  • Add the rice, herbes de Provence, lavender, salt, and bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes, when rice has turned white and chalky looking.
  • Add the simmering broth, and cover, reducing the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and brown the quail on both side, starting with the breast side - about 3 minutes per side.
  • Set aside pan with drippings.
  • Open the pan with the rice and add the quail, feet facing inward and breast side up.
  • Re-cover and continue to simmer for the remainder of the 30 minutes.
  • Just before serving, heat the skillet with the quail drippings and deglaze the pan with the white wine.
  • When reduced by half, add the tomatoes and simmer till reduced a bit.
  • Keep warm until it is time to serve.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the quail and rice.
  • Bring pan with the quail to the table, remove the cover, and serve.


An equally delicious, but cost effective alternative to quail would be chicken thighs.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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