Preparation / Directions:
For the Escabeche: Grind the spices together in a spice grinder or coffee grinder. Transfer to a bowl and add the garlic and salt. Work into a smooth paste. Work in the vinegar and flour and rub a thin layer on the quail, inside and out. Marinate several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
For the Mole Verde: Toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet until all have toasted and popped. Let cool completely, then grind in a spice grinder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth. Set aside.
Simmer the tomatillos and chiles in water until soft, 10-15 minutes. Drain and place in a blender with the lettuce, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Process until smooth.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seed mixture and stir constantly as it thickens and darkens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatillo puree. Cook and stir until very thick. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of stock, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Use a little more stock if necessary to reach a medium-thick consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Grill the quail over a moderate fire or bake at 375 degrees until the juices from the thigh run clear when pierced with a fork, approximately 20 minutes. Spoon the mole verde onto warm plates and serve the quail on top.
Notes: Quail offers an alternative to eating chicken so often, and because it cooks quickly it is very convenient. Both the marinade and the sauce can be made a day ahead, so the whole dish comes together quickly and easily.