Roasted Squab with Turnips, Spinach and Bing Cherries
2 squab carcasses chopped with a meat cleaver or a strong knife
1 small onion chopped
1 small carrot chopped
1 small celery rib chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup Ruby Port
2 branches fresh thyme
In a hot casserole, sauté squab carcass in whole butter until nicely browned. Drain off fat through a colander. Add vegetables. Sauté until browned; deglaze with port, scraping up all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower heat and reduce until wine begins to form a glaze. Add poultry stock. Bring to a simmer. Remove foam from sauce and simmer gently for about an hour or until sauce has flavor you desire. Add fresh thyme. Steep. Strain through a fine sieve. Reserve.
baby turnips peeled and cut in quarters
12 pitted bing cherries
French breakfast radish cut in 1/2
4 squab breasts
4 squab legs
clarified butter or duck fat
salt and pepper
In separate sauté pans "butter braise" the turnips and radish. Start with a few ounces of stock, add butter, simmer and add vegetables. Stock should be homogenous, i.e., butter and chicken stock emulsified (fondue). Season with salt and pepper. Add more liquid (butter as needed to keep emulsion) and cook until tender.
Season squab meat. Heat a sauté pan large enough to accommodate breasts and legs. (A cast iron skillet will work well.) Sauté meat, skin side down. Cook breasts for about 1-1.5 minutes on skin, roll over onto flesh, cook for another 1.5-2 minutes. Squab breast should give when you press it. Leave legs skin side down in pan until crispy. Finish on meat side. Rest on a rack in a warm place. Wipe out skillet. Add duck fat or butter. Sauté pitted cherries for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add squab sauce. Simmer. Taste for seasoning. Finish with cold, whole butter. Reserve. Heat turnips and radish in small amount of butter. Add spinach. Season and toss until just wilted.
Place vegetables on warm plates. Slice squab breast against the grain of the meat. (lengthwise at a slight angle). Arrange on vegetables. Place leg on top. Spoon sauce and cherries around. E N J O Y!