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John Downey's Roast Squab With Fresh Thyme And Garlic

Type: Poultry
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

4   Squabs - see * Note
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
1   Fresh thyme bunch (small)
24   Garlic cloves - peeled
3 tablespoons 45mlVegetable oil
1 tablespoon 15mlOnion - peeled, sliced (small)
1   Carrot - peeled, sliced
1   Celery stalk - sliced
1 cup 237mlApple juice
3 cups 711mlChicken or veal stock

Recipe Instructions

* Note: Squab is a young pigeon, usually about 4 weeks old, that has never flown and is therefore all the more tender and succulent. The meat is darkish and delicately flavored, closer to duck than chicken.

Rinse squabs and pat dry. Season inside cavity with salt, pepper, chopped thyme and 6 garlic cloves. Truss with string, then season the exterior of birds.

In a large skillet, brown squabs in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, turning as necessary. Remove from skillet. Add onion, carrot and celery to pan. Saute briefly.

Transfer vegetables to large roasting pan and set squabs on top, making sure they don't touch. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until squab breast feels firm yet springy. Remove squabs from pan and keep warm.

Remove garlic cloves from squabs and brown garlic gently in remaining vegetable oil. Add apple juice to roasting pan and reduce to near-dry, then add stock and reduce by half. Strain sauce, add browned garlic and chopped fresh thyme. Skim excess fat and keep warm.

Remove legs and breast meat from squab. Arrange on warm plates with the sauce and garlic cloves.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

The Los Angeles Times, 04-01-2001


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