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Squab with Grapes and Brandy

Squab with Grapes and Brandy
When preparing the sauce, add the brandy early on in the cooking process so that most of the alcohol and its harsh taste can evaporate. Only the flavor of the liquor is left behind. Steamed and buttered baby carrots are a delicious accompaniment to the squab. This is an exclusive online recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Collection series.

Ingredients:

  • 4 squab, each 1 lb., livers reserved
  • 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • 4 small garlic cloves, crushed with a knife
  • 3 Tbs. brandy, cognac or grappa
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sliced (lengthwise) red or green seedless
      grapes, or a combination
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 4 slices crusty coarse-grained bread, 1/2 inch thick,
      grilled or lightly toasted

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

Rub each squab with 1 tsp. of the olive oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff each bird with 1 liver, 1 thyme sprig, 1 rosemary sprig and 1 garlic clove.

Place the squab on a rack in a flameproof roasting pan. Roast until the squab are golden brown and the juices are rosy pink when the skin is pierced with a meat fork, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil.

Place the roasting pan over high heat. Add the brandy and cook until almost evaporated, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Add the grapes and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter, 1 Tbs. at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

Place 1 slice of grilled bread on each of 4 individual plates and top with 1 squab. Spoon the sauce over the squab and garnish with thyme and rosemary sprigs. Serve hot. Serves 4.

An exclusive online recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Chicken, by Rick Rodgers (Simon & Schuster, 2001).