Grilled Squab Breasts with Creamy Orzo

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Serving Size: 4
Total Time:

This recipe pairs squab with a fresh tomato vinaigrette and orzo in a spiced yogurt-feta dressing.

Squab

  • 0.25 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 0.25 cup lightly packed mint leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 0.5 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 skin-on, boneless squab breast halves with the first wing joints intact (see Note)
  • Kosher salt
  1. Marinate the squab In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except the squab and salt and puree until nearly smooth. Scrape the marinade into a large baking dish. Season the squab breasts with salt and add to the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Let the squab stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.

Tomato Vinaigrette

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 0.75 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 3/4-pound heirloom tomato
  • 0.25 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp brine from a jar of green olives
  1. Meanwhile, make the tomato vinaigrette In a medium bowl, grate the tomato on the large holes of a box grater; discard the skin. Whisk the grated tomato pulp with the remaining ingredients and season with salt.

Orzo

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 0.25 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 0.5 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.25 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.25 tsp piment d’Espelette
  • 0.5 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 0.5 cup lightly packed mint leaves
  • 0.5 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably French
  • Kosher salt
  • 0.25 cup halved pitted Castelvetrano olives, for garnish
  • 0.25 cup halved grape tomatoes, for garnish
  • Very thinly sliced red onion, for garnish
  1. Prepare the orzo In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente; drain well. Toss the orzo with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and spread it out on a large plate to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt with the lemon juice, coriander, cumin, piment d’Espelette and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Fold in the orzo, cilantro, mint and feta and season with salt.
  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush the grate with oil. Remove the squab from the marinade, scraping off the excess; discard the marinade. Grill the squab breasts skin side down over moderate heat until lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the squab breasts and cook until medium within, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Spoon the creamy orzo onto plates and arrange the squab on top. Scatter the olives, tomatoes and onion around the squab and drizzle some of the tomato vinaigrette around the plate. Serve, passing the remaining vinaigrette at the table.

Make Ahead: The tomato vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight.
Notes: You will have to order the boneless squab breasts from your butcher.

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Recipe Credit: Gabriel Rucker
Image Credit: Cedric Angeles