These plump little birds make excellent eating, but their flesh is firm and should be parboiled before roasting. Prepared according to this recipe in individual pie dishes, they are easy work for the hostess as the complete meal is contained in the pie.
Parboil the quail gently in salt water for 45 minutes. Defrost the spinach and place a layer on the bottom of each 4 individual baking dishes. Add a few carrots and pearl onions. Brown the quail in butter, breast side up, and place one in each baking dish. Dot with butter, add finely minced parsley and a pinch of tarragon to each dish. Prepare the piecrust, divide it into four parts, and roll out. Cover the pies in such a way as to have the quails’ legs protruding slightly through the crust. Ornament the crust with cut-outs, dipped in egg yolk, brush the pies with egg yolk to glaze and bake for 40 to 50 minutes in a 400 degrees F oven.