Pan-roasted squab with salsify

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
4 \N Squab or cornish game hens
1 large Carrot, diced
2 \N Ribs celery, diced
1 medium Onion, diced
2 quarts Chicken stock or reduced-salt broth
¼ teaspoon Dried thyme
3 larges Shallots, diced
¼ pounds Bing cherries, pits removed
1 cup Red wine
\N \N Salt and pepper
½ pounds Salsify (substitute parsnips)
2 tablespoons Lemon juice or white vinegar
5 tablespoons Unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
3 bunches Fresh spinach

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut (or have the butcher cut) legs and breast meat with wings attached from the carcass of each squab. Cut off wing tips. Cover breast and leg pieces and refrigerate. Place carcasses and wing tips in a roasting pan and cook in the oven until well browned.

2. Add diced carrot, celery and onion to the pan and continue to roast until vegetables are soft. Reserve ¾ cup of chicken stock and add the remainder to the pan along with the thyme. Lower heat to 375 degrees and simmer stock for 2 to 3 hours. Strain through a fine sieve. There should be about 4 cups of strained stock. If there is more, pour the stock into a saucepan and boil atop the stove until reduced to 4 cups.

3. In a saucepan, cook shallots in 1 tablespoon butter until softened. Add cherries and cover with red wine. Raise heat and boil wine until almost completely evaporated. Add strained squab stock and cook at a brisk simmer until reduced to sauce consistency, about 2 cups. This will take an hour or more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Recipe may be done ahead to this point. Let sauce cool, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Return squab and sauce to room temperature before continuing.) 4. Peel salsify, placing peeled stalks in water with 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar. Slice salsify crosswise into thin rounds and dry on paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large sauce pan. Add salsify and turn to coat with butter. Add ½ cup reserved stock and simmer until salsify is tender. Keep warm.

5. Return oven to 450 degrees. Place remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil in an oven-proof skillet large enough to hold the squab pieces in a single layer. (If necessary, use 2 skillets.) Brown pieces on all sides, then remove breast pieces. Place skillet in the oven and cook legs for 5 minutes. Add breast meat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until medium rare. Remove from oven and let meat rest, loosely covered for about 5 minutes. (If using Cornish game hens, cook until completely done.) 6. Meanwhile, return salsify to the heat. Add spinach and remaining ¼ cup stock, cover pan and steam, tossing once or twice, until spinach is completely wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. Make a bed of spinach and salsify in the center of each plate.

Pour or spoon cherry sauce around the spinach bed and arrange 2 squab breasts and 2 legs atop sauce on each plate. Serve with a sangiovese wine such as Atlas Peak.

Posted By japlady@... (Rebecca Radnor) On or

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