Squab Shopping Tips
When working with poultry, buy a separate cutting board, preferably a dishwasher-safe, plastic one, to avoid spreading bacteria onto raw produce.
Squab Cooking Tips
When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.
Pigeon has been revived by chefs over the last few years. The two types you might come across on menus and in supermarkets are squab pigeon, a young, plump, farmed bird, and wood pigeon. On the whole, wood pigeon are wild birds although in some instances - French pigeon in particular - these are also farmed. Pigeon meat is usually available all year round, but it is generally considered to be at its best between October and January and its rich, gamey taste makes it ideal for serving with earthy autumnal ingredients such as mushrooms, butter beans and cobnuts.
In the same way that orange is a natural foil for duck, cherries can perform a similar role with pigeon. As Luke Holder demonstrates in his Pigeon and foie gras recipe, the sweetness of the fruit offers a great counterpoint to the bird’s rich flavour. Most sweet flavours will work well with pigeon Mark Dodson serves his Breast of pigeon with a blueberry jus.
Pigeon is a fantastic meat to use for an extra special Sunday roast. Alan Murchison’s Easy pigeon recipe is full of wonderful autumnal flavours, while Andy McLeish’s impressive Roast wood pigeon recipe is served with a golden pithivier of leg meat and stunning seasonal vegetables such as kale and Jerusalem artichokes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (3 1/2) pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 8 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 potatoes, quartered
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 ½ cups water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a heavy Dutch oven, and place over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper, and cook in the hot oil until browned on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Add the carrots, potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, chicken bouillon cubes, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and cover the Dutch oven.
Place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
What Does Squab Taste Like?
Squab meat is a tender and moist dark meat with a very slight gamey flavor, similar to that of duck. Squab is a small bird, with most of its meat situated in the breast and to a lesser degree in the legs. Older birds have tougher flesh and less fat, which is why squab meat is made from young pigeons. It is often said that if a pigeon is old enough to fly, it's too old to eat.
Although there is a layer of fat on squab, the meat itself is not as fatty as duck or goose. When it's roasted, the fat liquefies and bathes the meat so that the result is moist but not overly greasy.
Tasty Chestnut Recipes for Fall
Roast Wild Boar with Chestnuts
Chestnuts and roasts are meant to go together.
After pre-boiling the chestnuts they are placed around roasted boar in this comforting autumnal dish. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin with Chestnuts and Onions
Pumpkin, chestnuts, thyme and onions are fried up together in this tasty fall side dish.
Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts
Whole chestnuts mixed in with Brussels sprouts for a classic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.
Chestnut Flour Ravioli
The perfect pasta recipe for gluten-free foodies.
Chestnut flour has a hearty taste and pairs well with the creamy artichoke filling in this recipe.
Squab on a Chestnut Branch
Chef Eneko Atxa, from Azurmendi restaurant in Spain devised this interesting recipe.
It will take some creative resourcing to find the ingredients, including volcanic salt and purple corn, but the result will be well worth the effort.
Creamy Risotto and Smoked Chestnuts
This interesting recipe will teach you how to make chestnut powder, if you haven't already, which is liberally dusted onto the finished risotto.
Japanese Chestnut Rice
This comforting Japanese recipe is very easy to make.
It calls for two types of short grain rice, boiled chestnuts, sesame seeds and a sprinkle of salt.
Chocolate Chestnut Cake
When it comes to desserts, chocolate and chestnuts sing.
For this cake the chestnuts are roasted whole before being cut up into chunky pieces and blended into the batter. Find the recipe here.
Christmas Yule Log
A brandy and chestnut cream filling makes this an unforgettable Christmas dessert.
This classic French dessert gets oomph from a delicate puree of chestnuts and a touch of vanilla.
There is so much joy in eating candied chestnuts.
You can easily make them at home but you'll need to be aware that the recipe is a four-day process (it's well worth it, we swear). Learn here how to make candied chestnuts.
For more inspiration this autumn check out our catalogue of fall recipes.
Roast Squab with Corn Cake & Blueberry Gastrique
Sign up and be the first to hear about exclusives, promotions and more!
D'Artagnan 100% Guarantee
Our consistent quality and commitment to excellence has kept the D'Artagnan name in the best American restaurants and kitchens for more than 35 years. D'Artagnan is confident our meats and prepared foods are the best tasting you'll find, which is why we back every purchase made at dartagnan.com with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Learn more.
PF CHANG'S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Nutrition (per serving, yields 4): 298 calories, 15.7 g fat (3.9 g saturated), 331 mg sodium, 20.2 g carbs, 3.4 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 22.3 g protein
Although no longer a menu option, this PF Chang's copycat recipe is one of the many lettuce-wrapped divine gifts we've stumbled upon. It has all the Asian flavor and none of the belly-bulging consequences.
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 oz. bacon, cut into thin strips
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 ⁄2 cup red wine
- 8 oz. fresh or frozen peas, thawed
- 2 oz. escarole, thinly sliced crosswise
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 squabs
- Three 1-pound squabs
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb&mdashhalved, cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 Bosc pear&mdashpeeled, halved, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 3/4 cup farro
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a sharp knife, cut the breasts off the squabs and transfer to a plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate. In a small roasting pan, roast the carcasses for about 30 minutes, until golden. Turn off the oven.
In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil. Add the chopped onion and fennel and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add the pear, peppercorns, thyme sprig, bay leaf and roast squab carcasses, along with any fat in the pan. Add 8 cups of room-temperature water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, skimming, until the stock has reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain the stock into a large saucepan and simmer over moderate heat until it is reduced to 1 cup, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the cream until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Whisk the cream into the reduced stock and season with salt keep warm.
In a large heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water over the bulgur cover and let stand until tender, about 30 minutes. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the farro until al dente, about 30 minutes. Drain the farro and bulgur, shaking out excess water.
Add the farro and bulgur to the cream-stock mixture and cook over moderate heat until thick and porridge-like, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Reheat the oven to 400°. Season the squab breasts with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the breasts, skin side down, and cook over high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Flip the breasts and roast in the oven for about 4 minutes for medium meat. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the breasts and serve with the two-grain porridge.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Season the squab inside and out with salt and pepper, or other herbs and spices as directed in your recipe.
Cover the breasts of each squab with strips of bacon, or wrap them in thin, lacy pork caul fat if your butcher can get it for you. Squab has little internal fat, and this extra layer of protection will help keep it from drying out.
Roast the squab for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, until their internal temperature reaches 125 F.
Best Squab Recipes - Recipes
I put this on the menu at North 44, in the ’90s.
It was the first squab dish I ever made—and to me it’s still the best squab we’ve ever done. The squab breast is roasted on the crown, a perfect medium-rare. Then you have the voluptuousness of the confit. You’ve got a Brussels sprout slaw, wilted and green—with just a little bacon. A tablespoons of braised lentils, on the liquid side. Then there’s the richness of the cauliflower purée, and for contrast, the bright, sweetness of the apple. The flavours are like a walk through the fall. The components are basic—and having to cook it all shouldn’t frighten anybody. It all comes down to execution. Which I like and value, especially nowadays, when everything seems to be cooked sous-vide by computer control instead of passion.
- 4 fresh squab, about 600 g (1¼ lb) each
- 60 mL (¼ cup) olive oil
- 2 disks lemon, about 5 mm (¼-inch), charred on grill or dry skillet, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 8 sage leaves
- ½ tsp each black peppercorns, coriander and cumin seed, plus ¼ tsp each dried rosemary, ground nutmeg, cinnamon and clove (toasted and ground)
- 750 mL (3 cups) rendered duck fat
- 250 mL (1 cup) veal jus (optional)
- 1 tbsp whipped butter (optional)
- 300g (10 oz) cauliflower, sliced thin
- 600 mL (2½ cups) milk
- Pinch of salt, ground white pepper
- Tiny pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50 mL (¼ cup) minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 125 mL (½ cup) beluga lentils, picked
- 50 mL (¼ cup) white wine
- 500 mL (2 cups) chicken stock
- ½ tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large cooking apple, peeled
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 250 mL (1 cup) dry Riesling
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 8 to 10 Brussels sprouts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 thick rasher of bacon, diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
The day before cooking the squab, cut off the birds’ heads at the base of the neck, remove the top two joints of their wings along with the feet and reserve for stock. Trim off any extra skin or fat and discard. Pat the birds dry with paper towels, place them breast side up on a roasting rack, and allow to dry overnight uncovered in the refrigerator.
Separate legs of each bird from main carcass at the base of thigh, cutting very carefully so as not to remove too much skin from the breast. Rub a few drops of olive oil on each bird. Insert a pinch of salt, the lemon, sage and garlic into each cavity. Tie a string snugly around the bird lengthwise in a loop running under the neck, over the wings and around the cavity opening. Salt the exterior, pressing the crystals into the flesh. Season each bird generously with the squab rub. Repeat for the legs, on both sides.
Now, heat the duck fat in a small saucepan on low heat to no higher than 95°C (200°F). Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add remaining olive oil, and sear the birds on all sides until brown—about 10 minutes. Also sear the legs, but only on the fatty skin side. Set the birds aside on their roasting rack. Add the legs to the duck fat and transfer the pan to the oven for 30 minutes, by which time the meat should be beginning to pull away from the bone. Transfer the legs to another dish and set aside.
Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).
Combine cauliflower, milk and seasonings in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure that the milk does not burn. Simmer, stirring regularly, for approximately one hour—or until cauliflower falls apart when pierced with a fork. Strain, reserving the milk, and transfer the cauliflower to a blender. Add enough reserved milk to make a purée. Taste, correct seasonings, and adjust consistency with more of the reserved milk if necessary. Pass through a fine mesh sieve and reserve.
For the lentils, place a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, add the oil and then the onion. Salt lightly and sweat for five to seven minutes, until translucent, and then add the garlic. A minute later add the lentils, stir well and deglaze with the wine. Add 1 cup chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Stir regularly, adding more stock ¼ cup at a time as the mixtures thickens. When the lentils are tender— about 30 to 45 minutes—remove from heat, stir in butter, and season.
Use a half-inch melon baller to scoop perfect balls from the apple. In a mixing bowl, toss apple balls with the sugar to coat. Sautée in oil and butter until uniformly bronzed. Then add wine and cook until it reduces to syrup and the apples are just tender. Add a pinch of cayenne and stir. Set aside.
Peel the outside five or six leaves from each Brussels sprout. Then shred the remaining spout crosswise on a mandolin. (You want end up with roughly twice as much slaw as whole leaves in the mix.) Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, blanch sprouts for 30 seconds, chill in iced water, and drain. In a skillet or small sauté pan, heat the oil on low and render the bacon until it starts to crisp and turn golden. Add the sprouts, toss, add butter, season and reserve.
Position squab on roasting rack at the middle of the oven with wing joints near the back wall. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let rest for five. Meanwhile, transfer squab legs to to the top shelf of the oven to crisp. Two minutes later, return the squab to the oven to crisp—for two minutes only. Meanwhile, gently reheat the cauliflower, lentils, apples and sprouts. Optional: heat the veal jus on medium. Remove squab from the oven and carefully fillet the breast halves from each crown. If using veal jus, remove from heat and whisk in butter. For each plate, smear cauliflower purée down left side of plate. Mound slaw at top, and lentils just below. Prop one breast half against the slaw, follow with another and then the two legs. Finish with a few apple balls and—if you choose—a drizzle of veal jus.