Roasted Farm-raised Squab with Rosemary Sauce
This elegant preparation pairs squab with butternut squash and a sauce scented with rosemary. Colorful leeks and asparagus form a ring around the squash and squab slices. You could substitute other small birds for the squab. The stocks that Chef Kornick uses are so reduced they are jellied, and melt as they begin to heat.
- Farm-raised Squab - 4
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup (1/2 stick), cut into tablespoons
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Thyme - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Rosemary - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Squash Saute
- Butternut squash - 1
- Unsalted Butter - 4 ounces (1 stick)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Ground nutmeg - 1/8 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Carrot - 1, diced small
- Celery Stalk - 1, diced small
- Onion - 1/2 small, diced small
- Shallot - 1, diced small
- Dry Red Wine - 1 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Rich Veal Stock - 1 cup
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Rosemary Leaves - 2 tablespoons
- Black Truffle - 1, shaved into thin slices
- Rosemary Leaves - 1 teaspoon, finely chopped
- Squab giblets (above)
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Vegetable Garnish
- Leeks - 2
- Asparagus spears - 20
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
To prepare the squab: Remove the giblets from the squab. Set the necks aside for the sauce and season the liver and gizzard with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoons of the butter in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat and add the giblets; saute 4 to 6 minutes, until just done through. Remove and dice; set aside and keep warm for the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Clean the cavities of the squab. Cut off the wings and set aside for the sauce. Rub the skin with olive oil and season inside and out with salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Melt the remaining butter in a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and brown the squab on all sides. Place in the oven and roast until the breast meat temperature is above 110 F, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bird rest for 10 minutes.
To prepare the squash: Peel and seed the squash. Cut into large dice. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and add the squash; reduce the heat and cook 12 to 18 minutes, until just tender. Drain and add the butter. Put back over medium heat and saute until the squash begins to break up a bit. Break up with a cooking spoon; it should look slightly mashed. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside and keep warm.
To prepare the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and saute the necks, wings, carrot, celery, onion, and shallot until lightly browned. Add the red wine and vinegar and stir up the browned bits from the bottom. Cook until the liquid has been reduced by half. Stir in the veal and chicken stocks, reduce the heat to medium, and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any foam which rises to the surface. Add the rosemary and simmer 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Set aside and keep warm.
To prepare the garnish: Rinse the leeks and cut in 1/2-inch dice. Hold each asparagus spear in two hands and bend until it breaks; discard the tough end. Cut the tender ends into 1-inch pieces. Bring a pan of water to a boil and add the leeks; return to a boil and blanch for 1 minute. Lift out with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove and drain. Bring the water back to a boil and add the asparagus. Let return to a boil and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds. Remove and drain. Set aside.
To serve: Rewarm the sauce and stir in the truffle, finely chopped rosemary, giblets, and butter. Warm the leeks and asparagus in 2 tablespoons of butter. Reheat the squash. Cut the squab in half, lengthwise down the center. Cut the thighs off at the body. Spoon squash in the center of each warmed serving plate. Arrange two squab halves and the legs over the squash on each plate. Arrange leeks and asparagus around the squash. Drizzle sauce over the squab slices.