Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Whisk Wednesdays—Coquelets sur Canapés (Roast Squab Chickens with Chicken Liver Canapés and Mushrooms)

Coquelets sur Canapés (Roast Squab Chickens with Chicken Liver Canapés and Mushrooms)Squab, a euphemism for a 4-week old, tender nestling pigeon is on the menu this week. I've only fed pigeons, never eaten one so it was a new adventure for me! Along with the squab, I prepared a partridge and a regular chicken for comparison.

The birds were sprinkled with salt, shallots and tarragon, then rubbed all over with butter. Finally strips of bacon (that had been simmered in water for 10 minutes to remove some of its smokiness) were placed on top to add flavor. The poultry were roasted in a 400°F oven until the juices ran clear (about 30-40 minutes).

The mushrooms, canapé and sauce make this roast poultry so much more delectable! The mushrooms are easily sautéed in butter and oil and then set aside. For the canapé, I chopped up some fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and made a bruschetta using the recipe's ingredients instead of the requested chicken-liver version. Frying the bread slices in clarified butter added extra richness. To deglaze the roasting pan, I used the pan juices, homemade chicken stock, a dash of leftover veal stock and a splash of port and let this mixture simmer until reduced by half. Finished with butter, this sauce was perfect ladled over the meat.


Serves 6 (I halved the recipe.)

Coquelets sur Canapés (Roast Squab Chickens with Chicken Liver Canapés and Mushrooms) mise en place
Partridge, Squab, Chicken

For the Mushrooms:
¾ pound fresh mushrooms
½ tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon oil
½ tablespoons shallots, minced
¼ clove garlic, mashed

For the Canapés:
3 slices homemade-type white bread
¼ cup clarified butter
3 poultry or game livers
1½ tablespoons bacon fat
1/8 teaspoon salt
Big pinch of pepper
½ tablespoon Madeira, port or cognac

For the Squab:
3 10- to 12-ounce, ready-to-cook squab chickens
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons butter
3 strips of bacon simmered in water for 10 minutes, rinsed and dried
1½ tablespoon butter, melted with ½ tablespoon good cooking oil
¾ teaspoon salt

For the Sauce:
½ tablespoon shallots, minced
¾ cup brown chicken stock or brown stock
1/8 cup Madeira or port
½ to 1 tablespoon butter, softened

For Reheating the Mushrooms:
½ tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper

For Final Assembly:
Handful of parsley (or sage) for garnish

You can find the recipe for Coquelets sur Canapés (Roast Squab Chickens with Chicken Liver Canapés and Mushrooms) in the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I. To see how the rest of the Whisk Wednesdays group fared with their recipe, click here (or check out the sidebar) and then click on each blogger!

Statue just outside the entrance to Central Park in NYC

Tasting Notes
The squab had a meatiness similar to dark chicken meat, but it wasn't gamey as I had expected. It was moist and had a good chew to it. Getting all the meat off the bones of the squab was more work for each bite, but worth it. Surprisingly, the taste of the partridge was not discernible from the chicken. Overall, though, I'd rather eat chicken and feed pigeons!
"Toward a better world I contribute my modest smidgin;
I eat the squab, lest it become a pigeon."
— Ogden Nash
The Julie/Julia Project

Next Class
• Biscuit de Savoie (Sponge Cake) on pages 33-34

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $1,497.55 + $19.76 = $1,517.31
($3.29 per serving)

Butter used so far: 12 pounds, 31 tablespoons

91% complete Basic Cuisine

. . . . . . . . . .
::Whisk Wednesdays::
We're cooking our way through a cooking school curriculum using the Le Cordon Bleu at Home cookbook. The "classes" are based on the Le Cordon Bleu curriculum found online and used as a guideline. Not all the items in the curriculum are in the cookbook, but most are. Where the items are not in the book, we try to find a suitable substitution. Find out more here.
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    Jennifer said...

    I've yet to taste squab, but your description of its flavor is tempting. Also, I appreciate the "simmering bacon" tip---very useful.

    Kayte said...

    Oh, I love the comparison of the three birds! It was nice to see them all lined up in their naked little skins to see the comparison of colors, size, shape, etc. I could not come up with anything other than game hens, but it was a marvelous recipe for the game hens! The meat was so moist. Interesting to know why we were soaking the bacon...wasn't sure why that was, so thanks for the knowledge on that one! I am afraid I am never going to be a chicken liver fan...nor is my family. Afterwards I thought: Oh, I should have made a mushroom reduction (duxelles) and used that to spread over the bread instead of the liver! Next time. Just wasn't thinking fast enough this week. I bet that would have been delicious. Your bird looks excellent!

    LoveFeast Table said...

    That looks wonderful! I am a skitter-ish cook sometimes and have not ventured too far and not into pigeons....Bravo for you though!! -Chris Ann

    lisa is cooking said...

    The sauce looks delicious! I'm sure I could find squab and partridge. Were you able to get them at your grocery store?

    pigpigscorner said...

    Love everything about this, I can imagine how flavourful this is with the liver. squab is new...I always wonder if we can actually eat the pigeons we see in the park..haha

    Linda said...

    your photos are stunning! I've never dealt with partridge, however I have cooked quail, so I'd imagine it would taste like a combination of chicken and quail?

    EB said...

    So where is the statue???

    Debi (Table Talk) said...

    Too many lunch breaks chasing them away while living in San Francisco.--Don't think I could do it. I applaud your sense of adventure here!

    katie said...

    o man o man.

    poultry and their organs? Love it. Never seen a partridge until it was shown here.

    Squab is such a euphemism. veal, balut. yup. ;)

    Anonymous said...

    Great post! Let me guess the location of the statue: is it near Central Park in New York City???
    Love your writing! (I too would rather feed the pigeon and eat the chicken!)

    Eliana said...

    Your birds look incredible - edible works of art.

    Lo said...

    How fun-- I've never cooked squab, but have always wondered what it tasted like. Recipe sounds delish!

    Anonymous said...

    Bravo yet again Shari! This looks fabulous, and I so appreciate the comparison! Especially since I'm finding I can't find anything resembling squab now. Tho't I had a source too. *sigh* Beautifully written!