Cooking the Unthinkable: Pigeon/Squab

Cooking the Unthinkable is a series that examines some of the more eccentric ingredients.  Whether you are a fan of the bizarre or are preparing for the eminent collapse of Western society this series will help you better stomach weird food.

When you announce that you intend to eat a pigeon most people will get grossed out.  That’s because pigeon doesn’t sound very good, say “squab” instead.  That’s the culinary term for pigeon and it’s origins are in Scandinavia where it meant “loose, fat flesh.”  See?  Now it doesn’t sound so gross.

Squab is one of those items that has long been associated with haute cuisine.  In fact to pronounce the word correctly you have to tilt your head so that your nose is slightly elevated so as to appear  better than everyone else.  In other words channel your inner-Louis Winthorpe III.

The flavor is similar to duck probably because they are both dark meat with a fatty skin.  It is highly prized in French cuisine as well as several Asian styles.  Squab is so tender that its texture is often described as silky making it ideal for roasting as the heat dry heat can produce a crispy skin without leaving the meat tough.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the great chefs in the country.  He is the owner of 15 of the best restaurants in America including his flag ship Jean-Georges where you will find the following dish, Squab a L’Orange.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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