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.