Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until it foams and just begins to brown. Add the quail, skin-side down. Sprinkle with ham, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Turn the birds and continue cooking, covered, until the juices run clear, about 4 minutes longer. Take the pan from the heat and let the quail rest, covered, for about 10 minutes. Arrange the quail on a platter and sprinkle the ham from the pan over them.
This southern recipe was created by Edna Lewis for Gage and Tollner, a Brooklyn restaurant. Mrs. Lewis is a black lady who's been active at restaurants in North and South Carolina. She grew up in Freetown,