All Easy Recipes. Cook all that you can cook. Braised Squabs With Chocolate Sauce
(Pichones Estofados)
What You Need:            (To Serve: 4)
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  • 4 one-pound oven-ready squabs, or substitute 4 one-pound partridge, quail, pheasant or other small game birds
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 12 whole peeled white onions, each about 1 inch in diameter
  • 2 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock, fresh or canned
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges (optional)

  • How To Cook:
    1. Pat the birds completely dry with paper towels, and sprinkle them liberally with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Then turn them about in cup of flour and shake each one vigorously to remove the excess.

    2. In a heavy casserole large enough to hold the birds comfortably, heat the olive oil over high heat until it splutters. Brown the birds in the oil, turning them with tongs and regulating the heat so that they color quickly and evenly on all sides without burning.

    3. Then transfer them to a plate and add the onions to the fat remaining in the casserole. Brown them over high heat, shaking the pan so that the onions roll around and color evenly. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside with the squabs.

    4. Drop the garlic into the casserole and cook over moderate heat for a minute or two. Then stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour. Pour in the wine and stock and, stirring constantly with a whisk, cook over high heat until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens lightly.

    5. Return the squabs to the casserole baste them well with the sauce and cover the casserole tightly. Simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.

    6. Then add the onions, teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of pepper. Cover again and simmer for 20 minutes longer, or until the onions are tender and the birds fully cooked.

    7. With a slotted spoon, transfer the squabs to a heated platter and place the onions around them. Skim the sauce in the casserole of most of its fat and add the chocolate. Stirring constantly, cook over moderate heat for 2or 3 minutes but do not let the chocolate boil.

    8. Taste for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the squabs and serve at once, garnished if you like with lemon.

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