Eric Greenspan’s Breast of Squab On Toast with Cherries, Coffee and Olives, as seen on Guy’s Ranch Kitchen Season 6.
Recipe courtesy of Eric Greenspan

Breast of Squab on Toast with Cherries, Coffee and Olives

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 servings
Might sound crazy, but this throwback to my fine dining days hits all over — gaminess from the squab, brininess from the olives, sweetness from the cherries and bitterness from the coffee. An odd combo that tastes harmonious.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Remove the breasts from the squab, keeping the skin on. Chop the carcasses into small pieces and add to a stovetop-safe 9-by-13-inch baking dish or large cast-iron pan. Add the garlic and onions and drizzle with about 1/4 cup oil, tossing to coat. Roast until charred, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and place the baking dish on a burner with the heat turned off. Add the coffee liqueur, carefully stirring to break up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat on medium-low and reduce for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small saucepan, cover the dried cherries with the espresso and bring to a boil. Strain the cherry-infused coffee over the roasted bones, retaining the cherries for use later. Allow the liquid to continue reducing slowly, about 30 minutes. Strain and continue to reduce until about 2 tablespoons of liquid are left in the pot. Add the vinegar and whisk vigorously to make a vinaigrette. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. In a cast-iron pan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Meanwhile, remove the crusts from the brioche slices and cut into 3- by-4-inch rectangles. Add the brioche to the cast-iron pan and toast one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool.
  6. Add the niçoise and picholine olives, reserved dried cherries, livers and hearts of squab and duck mousse to a food processor and process into a smooth paste. Spread the paste on the toasted side of each piece of brioche, then place the bread mousse-side down in the butter remaining in the cast-iron pan. Cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip to lightly toast the other side, another minute or two.
  7. Put an oiled cast-iron pan on high heat. Sprinkle the breasts very well with salt and pepper, then place skin-side down in the pan and reduce heat to low. Cook until the skin is crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip the breasts and sear on the other side, about 3 minutes. Flip the breasts back to skin-side down and add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and thyme. Cook, basting the squab, until medium-rare, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest, about 7 minutes.
  8. Slice the squab breast thinly and place on top of each of the toasted brioche slices. Drizzle with the coffee-cherry vinaigrette. Top each squab toast with the frisee, remaining olives and fresh cherries, and serve.