Lacquered Squab W/ Gingered Cabbage and Fennel-Pear Puree

Recipe by Chef Kate
READY IN: 2hrs




  • For the Sichuan pepper-salt:
  • In a small heavy-bottomed pot, slowly roast the salt and peppercorns over low-medium heat until very aromatic, about 20 minutes.
  • Cool; grind in a spice grinder and sift through fine sieve and set aside.
  • For the Fennel-Pear Purée:
  • Combine the fennel, pears, verjus, anise, sugar and salt in a heavy-bottom pot.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until everything is very tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the star anise and purée in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  • Adjust the seasoning and pass through a fine sieve and keep warm until ready to serve (should be about i cup of puree).
  • For the Gingered Napa Cabbage.
  • Chop the cabbage and radicchio into 1-inch dice.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over low heat.
  • Sauté the cabbage, spinach and radicchio separately until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes each.
  • While the cabbage and radicchio are sautéing, use a mortar and pestle to reduce the ginger, garlic and scallions to a paste.
  • Return all the sautéed greens to the pan.
  • Add the ginger, garlic and scallion paste to the greens and cook until aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the raisins, vinegar, salt and sugar. Remove from the stove and dress with sesame oil (should be about 2 cups of the cabbage mixture).
  • For the Squab and assembly.
  • One 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).
  • Put 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.
  • Grill the squabs, skin side down over high heat until golden brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Turn; 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).
  • Brush the skin sides with a thin coat of warm honey.
  • Return it to the hot grill before serving to lightly caramelize the skin for 1 minute on each side.
  • Carve the squabs, slicing the breast meat.
  • On 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.
  • Arrange the legs standing up against the cabbage.
  • Sprinkle Sichuan pepper-salt on the sliced breast.
  • Dust the plate with Chinese 5-spice powder.