Squab, while delicious and hard-to-find, does not fall into the frugal category. At about $10/pound for completely unprepared meat, and each bird being about 1 pound, you’re looking at $10 per person at a minimum. That said, if you serve it with risotto and other hearty accompaniments, you can serve each person half a squab, which is just enough for a taste, but will drastically cut your cost.
1 squab $10.00
Salt and pepper, to taste $free(ish)
1 sprig rosemary $free(ish) from your herb garden
1 ounce pancetta cubes $0.75
2 tablespoons olive oil $0.20
2 tablespoons butter $0.16
1 cup dry white wine $1.00 (at its cheapest)
Total cost (for 2) $12.11
Rinse the outside and cavity of the squab. Pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Now, add the pancetta and the rosemary and sprinkle salt and pepper around the outside of the bird.
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven on medium heat, and once hot, add the butter. Wait until the butter foams and subsides, and then add the bird. Turn every 2-3 minutes, cooking it on each side for a total of 10-12 minutes, browing it thoroughly.
Now, add 3/4 cup of the white wine. (By the way, if you want live it up, because you are eating squab, go for something above the cheapest chardonnay you can find.) Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a constant simmer. Put the lid on the dutch oven and cook, turning every so often for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, take the squab out, add the additional 1/4 cup of wine and reduce the liquid to a sauce. If serving over risotto (as we did), cut the squab in half and serve over a bed of risotto with the braising liquid on top. ENJOY!