Squab, maple syrup, pine, and citrus
Maybe this is just the inner-French-Canadian speaking, but generally when I see a gaggle of geese–or a duck swimming in the pond–or a rabbit at the pet store–I think, “Wow, you look delicious”! It is only since doing the Chicken Casserole recipe that I now have these feelings for coniferous trees, they are delicious. I’ve been eyeing a couple of the trees close to my house, and today I went around tasting some of them. One tree was particularly delicious, and while not spot-on with the flavour of Balsam Fir, it was pretty similar! And since the book said any conifer would work, I’ve opted to use this for the Jar of Pigeon recipe.
This recipe started with butchering squab–something I’ve never done before. The pigeon came from the butcher with a few feathers stuck to it (visible in the picture above), but it was a fairly straightforward process with a very steep learning curve. I found that I’d completely “butchered” one of each appendage… the second went more smoothly. We’ve tried to highlight the squab’s good side in the pictures.
Next the aromatics were heated up in small carbon steel pan and then placed in a wide mouth mason jar. The squab was seared in the pan to render off some of the fat and crisp up the skin. It was then placed in the jar with the aromatics, and drizzled with some wonderful Abitibi maple syrup.
Next some luting paste was made in the same fashion as the Chicken Casserole dish, applied as a seal around the perimeter of the mason jar, and placed in the oven to bake.
I have to say that this dish was much easier to free from it’s containment vessel than the Chicken Casserole, as squab meat is cooked rare the luting paste didn’t have too much time to harden in the oven.
When I got the lid off, our dog was kind enough to provide some quality control as he has many years of experience hunting pigeon.
This was my first time eating squab, and it shocked me a little–in a good way. The meat tasted very strongly of iron and and it tasted surprisingly fatty! Since Melissa doesn’t eat meat, I don’t get a lot of iron in my diet–I was shocked to learn that Squab has 3x the iron content of beef! The meat inside was beautifully pink and just cooked past rare. I’m starting to really enjoy the flavour combination of maple and coniferous tree needles. I plan to make pigeon a regular part of my diet!