French Squab In a Pot

  • 4-6 whole dressed squabs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small rib of celery, chopped medium
  • 6 garlic gloves, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon

 1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pat squab dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear the squab, breast side down, in the olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven. Scatter the onion, celery garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary around the squab. Cook until the breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.Flip the squab breast side up, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast (about 100-120 minutes).

2. Transfer squab to carving board, tent with foil, and rest for ten minutes. Strain the pot juices into fat separator. Discard solids. Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste. Serve squab, passing jus at table.

Serve with a fresh garden salad and the dressing of your choice (I like blue cheese). Add a good 5 year old bottle of Madeira, and watch the squab disappear.


 “Introducing French Chicken in a Pot”, by Charles Kelsey. From the Editor’s of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, All-Time Best Recipes, December 2009.

I adapted this squab recipe from Mr. Kelsey’s technique. His secret to succulent and flavorful meat relies on dry cooking at low temperature. It works!



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