4 slices of bacon, diced (I took my kitchen shears and cut it down randomly)
1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
4 quail (about a pound total)
1 small lemon, quartered
several sprigs of thyme
4 small pats of ghee or organic butter
salt and pepper
Make the glaze (this can be done the night before). In a medium saucepan, place all of the glaze ingredients and cook over medium heat. Stir. The cranberries will start to pop and break down. Continue to stir while smooshing the cranberries against the side of the pan. Do this for about 10 minutes. Let cool. Press mixture through a sieve or fine mesh strainer. Discard solid ingredients left in the mesh. Refrigerate liquid.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a baking pan, place Brussels sprouts, bacon, and jalapeno. Cook on the top rack for 40 minutes, stirring mixture every 10 minutes to distribute the bacon fat as it cooks.
In the meantime, rinse quail and pat dry with a paper towel. Stuff each quail with a lemon, 1-2 sprigs of thyme, and a pat of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Tie legs together (if you have baker’s twine…if not, don’t worry about it). Place in an 8×8 baking dish. Brush 1/3 of the glaze on the birds. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan. Cover dish like a tent with a piece of aluminum foil. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Brush another 1/3 of the glaze on. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove foil. Place under the broiler for about 6-7 minutes to brown. The internal temperature of the birds should be at least 160 degrees (to me, the meat thermometer is one of my essential tools).
Remove from oven. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Garnish with additional thyme if desired. Serve immediately.