1/4 cup of a dry red wine
Before Scott touches his knife to the squabs he rinses the wittle birdies and check their skin for stubborn quill roots. “It feels like I’m dismembering a baby,” Scott jokes as he breaks down the wings. He uses his pro skills to dissect the animal into even pieces (saving the legs for confit) and laughs in the face of squimishness.
He combines extra virgin olive oil with cardamom, star anise, and peppercorns in a pot and lets the beautiful flavors infuse for five minutes at a medium low heat.
We then put the breasts into our bags with three tablespoons of the fragrant olive oil infusion. They went into the sous vide at 56° C for 45 minutes.
Make the Jus!
Scott puts the carcasses and wings in Michel with two tablespoons of olive oil for eight minutes to coax out of their juices. Then, the chef pours some quail and duck broth, left over from his restaurant, over the squab bits (chicken broth can be used as a substitution). After that brewed for five minutes, Scott drains the broth, sets it aside, and cleans Michel.
A sparkling Michie then gets blessed with a holy glob of fresh duck fat. Garlic, onions, carrots, thyme and a sprinkle of salt are added to the sizzling fat, it smells so delicious that I can hear people comment about the savory fragrance in rapt ecstasy like famished zombies outside our apartment door.
After the vegetables soften, the broth made from our squab is poured over the aromatics medley and it bubbles happily on high heat for five minutes before Scott drains out the vegetables.
A cup of the deviled broth is put into a small pot and reduces on medium high heat with a splash of dry red wine. In a small saucepan, Scott sweats out a minced shallot in two tablespoons of butter on medium high heat, he then adds in all of the broth reduction. As the jus murmurs, Scott skims off the fat. When the jus coated the spoon like a 15 year old balsamic vinegar, Scott knew it was ready and drained out the shallots.
Finish the Breasts!
After we set the jus aside, we took out our squab breasts from their sous vide bags, and put them on paper towels to pat dry.
Michel is a lucky ducky and gets smathered with another healthy dollop of duck fat. The sous vide process coaxed the corpulence of the squab to the surface so when Scott went to flash seared it, it the resulted in a deep, rich brown outside.