Sweet & Sour Braised Pigeon
By Andrew Zimmern
In this episode of Wild Game Kitchen, I’m preparing one of my favorite recipes, braised squab with olives and vinegar—a perfect meal for a fall evening around the fire. He pairs this comfort food classic with homemade herbed gnocchi drenched in browned butter, and a simple apple and Manchego cheese salad.
Braised Pigeon with Olives and Vinegar
- 3 squab or pigeon, cut into light and dark quarters
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces sliced pancetta, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups pitted green olives (such as Lucques or Ceragnola)
- 1 whole dried hot chile (such as arbol chiles)
- 3/4 cup sweet red vermouth
- 3/4 cup dessert wine (such as a muscat, Riesling or sauternes)
- 3 tablespoons Banyuls or sherry vinegar
- 1 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes
Working in batches, season and brown the pigeon in the olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Reserve.
In a large dutch oven, cook the pancetta until lightly browned. Add the onion, carrots, fennel seed, bay leaves, olives and the chile. Cook until softened.
Add the vermouth, wine vinegar and tomatoes. Gently simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring.
Add the browned pigeon pieces to the pot. Simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until meat is tender and liquids have reduced.
Season with the salt, pepper and some more vinegar for balance and serve.