Squab is the common name for young doves or pigeons when raised for food. Squab has graced the table since ancient Egypt, and was raised for food throughout the Middle East, Rome, and Medieval Europe.
When the Jewish Temples stood, the poorest people would bring turtledoves or mourning doves as their sacrifices, instead of the more valuable goat, sheep, or bull. So, it’s ironic that now squab is a rare treat, considered an exotic food to be served on only the most royal occasions, and favored by top chefs at the finest restaurants. But squab is very easy to prepare well, and is a delightful change of pace for any occasion.
The Other Dark Meat
Like Pelleh Poultry’s other signature product, Pekin duck, Pelleh’s glatt kosher squab is an all-dark-meat bird with a richer flavor than duck or goose, featuring fine-grained and tender meat that is described as “silky” in texture, and fatty skin that can be very crispy and delicious when roasted or broiled. It has more fat per serving than duck, but fewer calories; and less cholesterol, less sodium, and more vitamin A, C, and iron. It’s at its best when cooked to a medium-rare to medium level of doneness.
Since it’s a popular food in so many cuisines, there are an abundance of recipes and styles for preparing squab. It can stand alone when broiled, roasted, seared, or deep fried, or be incorporated into a Moroccan “pastilla” or a French-style meat pie. It is deliciously complemented in Chinese recipes by sweet-and-sour or fruit-based sauces, soy sauce and herbs, or other hearty seasonings like turmeric, garlic, chili, and coriander. Complement Pelleh Poultry’s beautiful and delicious kosher squab with white or wild rice, new spring potatoes, and grilled or roasted vegetables, and pair with a hearty white or a mild red wine for a truly majestic treat!
Next month: raising squab, or what in the world is “crop milk?”