squab wild blackberry wild potpourri

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squab wild blackberry wild potpourriThe squab, from our friend Phillip Paine, is rubbed with a potpourri of dried and wild edibles, and then left to age before seeing its time over the fire. This dish illustrates the varying speed of the wild blackberries’ maturation by using the tart, unripe ones for a puree and barely warming the juicy ones, mimicking their time in the sun’s light.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2 grams | 1 tablespoon dried wild bay leaves
  • 65 grams | 2 cups dried spice bush leaves
  • 20 grams | ⅔ cup dried rose geranium leaves and flowers
  • 20 grams | ⅔ cup dried wild fennel fronds
  • 25 grams | ¾ cup dried pine needles
  • 6 grams | 3 tablespoons dried sweet clover
  • 2 | whole squabs
  • 12 grams | 2 tablespoons Napa Valley potpourri
  • kosher salt
  • 20 grams | 1 ½ tablespoons rendered squab fat, melted
  • Maldon sea salt
  • 190 grams | 6.6 ounces grade A foie gras
  • 4 .5 grams | ¾ teaspoon foie gras cure
  • 200 grams | ¾ cup whole milk
  • 3 .5 grams | ¾ teaspoon powdered agar
  • kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. FOR THE NAPA VALLEY POTPOURRI: Combine the bay leaves, spice bush leaves, geranium leaves and flowers, fennel fronds, pine needles, and sweet clover in a spice grinder and grind for about 3 minutes, until pulverized. Store in an airtight container with silica gel packets at room temperature.
  2. FOR THE AGED SQUAB: Season the squabs on all sides with the potpourri. Tie a piece of butcher’s twine around the neck of each squab and hang the squabs in the refrigerator with ample air circulation for 2 weeks.
  3. Remove the frame from each squab and retain the 2 breast and leg portions, each in a single piece. Store the breast and leg portions between parchment paper in the refrigerator.
  4. FOR THE FOIE GRAS BUTTER: Temper the foie gras at room temperature for 3 hours. Pass the foie gras through a tamis and season with the foie gras cure. Place in a vacuum bag, seal on high, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  5. Transfer the foie gras to a blender. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and warm slightly over medium heat. Whisk in the agar, increase the heat to high, and bring the milk to a boil while whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and pour the milk into the blender. Mix on high speed for 2 minutes, until very smooth and shiny. Strain through a chinois into a metal pan and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. Prepare an ice bath. Cut the foie gras into cubes and return to the blender. Mix on high speed for about 2 minutes to reliquefy. Strain through a chinois into a bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the foie gras. Season with kosher salt, transfer to a squeeze bottle, and store in the refrigerator.
  7. FOR THE BRAISED RADISHES: Season the radishes with the fat and kosher salt. Place in a vacuum bag and seal on high. Cook the radishes in a steam oven set at 200°F (95°C) for 15 minutes, until very tender. Hold the radishes in the bag in a warm place.
  8. FOR THE WILD BLACKBERRY PUREE: Prepare an ice bath. Put the blackberries in a blender and mix on high speed for about 4 minutes, until a smooth puree forms. Strain through a chinois into a bowl, then nest the bowl in the ice bath to cool the puree. Season with the vinegar and kosher salt, and transfer to a squeeze bottle.

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