Simplest Roast Squab Recipe

Roast pigeon, halved, on knife
Foodcollection / Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings

Like all game birds, squab needs to be slightly undercooked so it can be served medium rare. Although the USDA recommends cooking game birds to an internal temperature of 180 F., any harmful bacteria is killed at 145 F. Squab is certainly a special-occasion bird, and this easy recipe makes the most of squab's unique flavor.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2 large shallots (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or coarse sea salt)
  • 4 squabs (rinsed and dried)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

How to Make It

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Beat together 1 stick of butter, shallots, thyme leaves, lemon zest, sea salt and several grinds of freshly ground pepper in a mixing bowl until smooth. Divide into 4 portions.
  3. Using a couple of fingers, carefully loosen each squabs skin attached to the breast and legs, then work in 1 portion of the butter mixture, spreading it over the breast meat and in between the legs. Stuff the squab's cavity with a thyme sprig, tie its legs together with kitchen string. Sprinkle the Kosher salt and more pepper over the squab. Repeat with the other squab.
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides. Brown the squab on all sides, then transfer to a roasting pan and roast 15-20 minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the breast without touching bone. At 145 F, remove the squab from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving. (If the temperature is not at 145 F, continue to roast 5 minutes.)