Roast Squab Breast with Two-Grain Porridge
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HR
- SERVINGS: 6
If you’re not sure how to remove the squab breasts, ask your butcher to do it for you. The elegant flavors make it perfect for entertaining or a special-occasion dinner.
- Three 1-pound squabs
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and chopped
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 Bosc pear—peeled, 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.
Earthy, spicy Sangiovese is a good match for game birds like squab.