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Grilled Squab with Chrysanthemums & Chickpeas

May 2012

For 4 servings (requires advance preparation)

Squab:
• 1/2 sm. onion, finely chopped
• 2 1/2 tsps. garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup edible chrysanthemums
• 5 1/2 tsps. dill, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
• 10 Tbsps. cilantro, finely chopped
• 8 allspice berries
• 1 cup olive oil
• 4 squab, deboned, bones reserved for jus

  1. Mix all ingredients except squab in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag; add squab; vacuum-seal bag; turn to coat squab; reserve in refrigerator 24 hours.

  2. Heat wood-burning oven to 500°F.

  3. Remove squab from bag; place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper; roast squab until brown and cooked through; remove from oven; reserve (keep warm).

Squab jus:
• 4 squab frames
• 2 onions, roughly chopped
• 2 carrots, roughly chopped
• 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
• 6 fenugreek seeds
• 2 allspice berries
• 2 cups red wine
• 3 qts. chicken stock
• 1 qt. veal stock

  1. Heat a stockpot set over medium-high heat; roast squab bones, stirring occasionally, until brown; add onions, carrots, celery, fenugreek seeds, and allspice berries; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender; deglaze pan with wine; reduce until almost dry.

  2. Add stocks; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; simmer until reduced to sauce consistency; remove from heat; strain through fine chinois into clean saucepan; reserve.

Ragù:
• 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsps. green garlic tops, minced
• 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsps. green onion tops, minced
• 3/4 cup fresh fava beans, shelled, blanched, and skinned
• 1/2 cup fresh chickpeas
• 2 to 4 Tbsps. unsalted butter
• lemon juice
• fava leaves

Bring reserved squab jus to a boil; cook until reduced to 3/4 cup; stir in garlic tops and onion tops; cook 1 minute; add fava beans and chickpeas; cook until softened; mount with butter; season with juice; remove from heat; stir in fava leaves; reserve.

Assembly:
• 2 cups fava beans, cooked
• 1 cup olive oil
• vetch and pea tendrils (for garnishing)

  1. Place fava beans in a blender; with motor running, gradually add oil; blend until emulsified; reserve.

  2. To serve, spoon some fava bean puree on each plate; place a squab on top of puree on each plate; spoon ragù over; garnish with vetch and pea tendrils.

What to drink: Jonata La Cancion de Jonata Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2005