Seared and Grilled Squab with Chicory Salad

Alice Waters shared this recipe with us when we visited her in Turin, Italy.

Seared and Grilled Squab with Chicory Salad
Alice Waters shared this recipe with us when we visited her in Turin, Italy.
Yield: serves 6

For the Birds

  • 6 fresh squab
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 carrot, trimmed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 6 parsley stems
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 12 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads assorted winter chicories, such as radicchio, red treviso or escarole, with leaves seperated and torn
  • 24 grilled potato halves, warm

Instructions

  1. For the birds: Preheat oven to 500°. Using a sharp boning knife, cut off squab legs where thigh meets breast and set aside. Make an incision on either side of each breastbone, cut breast away from carcass, leaving wings attached to carcass, and set aside. Cut carcasses into large pieces, put into a roasting pan, and roast, turning once, until well browned all over, 35–45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and drain off fat. Add 12 cup water, scrape browned bits stuck to bottom of pan, and set pan aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes. Add roasted carcass pieces, pan liquid, and 10 cups water and bring to a boil, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Add parsley stems, thyme, bay leaf, and wine. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until broth has reduced to 212 cups, 112–2 hours. Strain through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Skim off any fat, then bring to a boil over high heat. Add vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper, and boil until sauce is thick, 25–30 minutes. Cover and keep sauce warm over lowest heat.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season reserved breasts with salt and pepper, then add to skillet, skin side up. Reduce heat to medium and cook until well browned, 4–5 minutes. Turn breasts and cook until skin is browned and crisp, 2–3 minutes more for medium rare. Transfer breasts to a warm plate and set aside. Season reserved legs with salt and pepper and grill over hot coals until well browned all over, about 8 minutes.
  4. For the salad: Put shallots and vinegar into a small bowl and set aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes. Whisk in oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir 3 tbsp. of the vinaigrette into warm squab sauce. Toss remaining vinaigrette with chicories in a large bowl.
  5. Divide chicories between 6 plates. Slice breasts and arrange slices from 1 breast on each plate. Arrange 2 legs and 4 potato halves on each plate. Arrange 2 legs and 4 potato halves on each plate and spoon some of the sauce over the birds.