Chef Kate's Note:
Adapted from Lee Hefter, executive chef of Spago Beverly Hills. Verjus is a natural juice of seedless, unripened green grapes. Sichuan peppercorns are reddish pink and have a unique flavor. Once you make the various components, final prep and service are easy. And since the squab needs an hour of sitting in the rub, you can make the puree and the cabbage while the squab rests in its rub.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
For the Sichuan pepper-salt
For the Fennel-Pear Puree
- 1 head fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 bartlett pears, peeled, cored and diced large
- 1/4 cup grape juice, fresh (verjus, a term Zaar's computer won't accept)
- 1 small star anise (or 1/2 large)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Gingered Napa Cabbage
- 1/4 head napa cabbage
- 1/4 head radicchio
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2 cups spinach leaves, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, fresh, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon scallion, minced
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins, softened in hot water and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
For the Squab and assembly
- 1For the Sichuan pepper-salt:.
- 2In a small heavy-bottomed pot, slowly roast the salt and peppercorns over low-medium heat until very aromatic, about 20 minutes.
- 3Cool; grind in a spice grinder and sift through fine sieve and set aside.
- 4For the Fennel-Pear Purée:.
- 5Combine the fennel, pears, verjus, anise, sugar and salt in a heavy-bottom pot.
- 6Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until everything is very tender, about 30 minutes.
- 7Remove the star anise and purée in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- 8Adjust the seasoning and pass through a fine sieve and keep warm until ready to serve (should be about i cup of puree).
- 9For the Gingered Napa Cabbage.
- 10Chop the cabbage and radicchio into 1-inch dice.
- 11Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat.
- 12Sauté the cabbage, spinach and radicchio separately until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes each.
- 13While the cabbage and radicchio are sautéing, use a mortar and pestle to reduce the ginger, garlic and scallions to a paste.
- 14Return all the sautéed greens to the pan.
- 15Add the ginger, garlic and scallion paste to the greens and cook until aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- 16Add the raisins, vinegar, salt and sugar. Remove from the stove and dress with sesame oil (should be about 2 cups of the cabbage mixture).
- 17For the Squab and assembly.
- 18One hour before cooking, season the squab on both sides with the Sichuan pepper-salt (use as much as you like--at least 1/2 teaspoon).
- 19Put the honey in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes until it becomes reduced and thick. Set aside.
- 20Grill the squabs, skin side down over high heat until golden brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- 21Turn; sear the other sides for 1 to 2 minutes and then rest the squab on a plate for 5 minutes (the squab will be medium-rare).
- 22Brush the skin sides with a thin coat of warm honey.
- 23Return it to the hot grill before serving to lightly caramelize the skin for 1 minute on each side.
- 24Carve the squabs, slicing the breast meat.
- 25On a serving platter, make a line of the hot fennel-pear purée from one end to the other. Arrange the gingered cabbage in the center and the carved squabs around it.
- 26Arrange the legs standing up against the cabbage.
- 27Sprinkle Sichuan pepper-salt on the sliced breast.
- 28Dust the plate with Chinese 5-spice powder.
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Nutritional Facts for Lacquered Squab W/ Gingered Cabbage and Fennel-Pear Puree
Serving Size: 1 (390 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 370.4
- Calories from Fat 71
- Total Fat 7.9 g
- Saturated Fat 1.0 g
- Cholesterol 0.0 mg
- Sodium 4450.4 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 79.4 g
- Dietary Fiber 8.7 g
- Sugars 60.1 g
- Protein 3.5 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
sherry wine vinegar
Chinese five spice powder