Recipe: Thiessen Farm Squab Breast

Recipe - Squab Breast

Recipe: Thiessen Farm Squab Breast

by Chef Warren Geraghty

Squab is a delicious, rich bird that is at its tenderest when cooked to the medium-rare stage. Serves 8


Fireweed Honey Dressing
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp toasted pine nut oil
11/2 tsp lemon vinegar
1 tsp fireweed honey

Bulgur and Apple Salad
1 cup bulgur wheat
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, in 1/4-inch dice
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
6 mint leaves, julienned

Mint Leaf Garnish (optional)
Oil for frying
8 mint leaves

Fiddleheads and Feta
3/4 cup fiddlehead ferns, well washed
1 tsp olive oil
4 oz feta cheese

4 squabs, each 1 lb, cleaned and tied
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter


Fireweed Honey Dressing
Make the dressing first. Combine olive oil, canola oil and toasted pine nut oil in a bowl. Whisk in vinegar and honey, then season with salt and pepper.

Bulgur and Apple Salad
Place bulgur in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a large pot on high heat, then stir in bulgur. Turn down the heat to low and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until bulgur is tender. Strain and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until cold.

Combine bulgur, apples, pine nuts and mint in a bowl. Add some dressing, a little at a time, tossing to lightly coat the salad. Reserve the remaining dressing.

Mint Leaf Garnish
Pour in enough oil to half-fill a small, tall-sided heavy pot on the stovetop and heat to 375˚f. Add mint leaves, being careful not to let them split. Fry for 3 to 4 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to remove them and drain on paper towels.

Fiddleheads and Feta
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil on high heat. Add fiddleheads and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and plunge into the ice water. Drain, then dry on paper towels.

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add fiddleheads and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl. Crumble in feta and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425˚f. Season squabs all over with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof frying pan on medium heat until nut brown. Add squabs and caramelize them all over. Place breast up in the pan and roast in the oven for 6 to 7 minutes.

Remove squabs from the oven and cut off the legs. Place legs back in the pan and roast with squabs in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, or until cooked through. (Once cooked, the thigh bone can be removed fairly easily, making the leg easier to eat.) Remove from the oven and allow squabs to rest for at least 7 to 8 minutes before carving.

To Serve
Place a 2-inch diameter ring mould in the centre of each warmed plate. Place an eighth of the bulgur salad in each ring, using a spoon to gently press into the ring. Remove the ring moulds, then arrange the fiddlehead mixture around the outside.

Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir

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