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Spice-Roasted Squab with Porcini & Foie Gras

Ariane Daguin | Yield: 4
The spices in this lush, heady dish are readily available at supermarkets. If you can't find chestnut honey, which is sweet and a bit bitter, use whatever honey you have on hand.
Recipe Spice-Roasted Squab with Porcini & Foie Gras

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Duck and Veal Demi-Glace
  • 12 ounces licorice root
  • 1 large bunch thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup whole coriander
  • 1/4 cup whole cardamom
  • 1/4 cup mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup anise seeds
  • 1/4 cup white peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup pink peppercorns
  • 3 star anise, broken into pieces
  • 4 Whole Squab, 2 wing joints, giblets, neck and excess fat and skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chestnut honey (or your favorite honey)
  • 1/2 pound porcini mushrooms
  • 2 ounces Foie Gras Cubes
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

Preparation

  1. Bring demi-glace to a gentle boil in a small saucepan and reduce to about 1/2 cup. Stir in 4 ounces of the licorice root and 4 sprigs of thyme, and steep for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, strain, and keep warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and tear 4 squares of aluminum foil, 12 inches x 12 inches.
  3. Combine coriander seeds, cardamom pods, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, aniseed, white peppercorns, red peppercorns and star anise onto a flat pan and warm in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Grind to a fairly fine powder in a spice grinder and spread on a flat plate.
  4. Season the birds inside and out with salt and pepper and stuff with 2 ounces of the licorice root and a few sprigs of thyme. Truss and tie the squab and blot dry. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and quickly brown the squab on all sides. Roast the squabs for 10 minutes. Brush the squabs with the honey and roll in the spice mixture. Return to the oven and roast until the squabs are medium-rare, 3 minutes longer. Remove and let rest in a warm place.
  5. While the birds roast, divide the mushrooms, foie gras and olive oil with 4 sprigs of thyme and salt and pepper among the 4 foil squares. Gather the corners of the foil and twist into small bundles. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F and roast bundles for 15 minutes.
  6. Place 1 squab on each of 4 warm plates. Open the mushroom bundles and serve alongside the squab. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of licorice sauce onto each plate and garnish with a thyme sprig.