Oven Roasted Squab, Leeks, Harvest Mushrooms and Polenta

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Napa Valley Merlot: Oven Roasted Squab


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 squabs (1 per person)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme


  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 1?2 cup Parmesan cheese


  • 3 leeks, coined
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to coat
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
  • 2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a bowl, combine the softened butter, shallots, and chopped thyme. Rub each squab thoroughly with the mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Insert one thyme sprig into each body cavity, and arrange the squabs on a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until each squab is a golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for five minutes before serving.

In a large 2 1/2-inch deep saute pan, bring the milk and water to a simmer. Slowly add in the polenta, and whisk about every five minutes for about 40 minutes or until done. Remove from heat. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice the leeks into 1/4-inch thick rings, then rinse under cold water until completely cleaned. Lightly toss the leek rings in extra virgin olive oil, followed by the garlic, shallot and thyme mixture and then season to taste. Place leek rings on a sheet pan and roast in the oven until golden.

For the mushrooms, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of oil and heat to simmer. Add in the cleaned wild mushrooms and saute until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop a generous helping of polenta in the center of each plate. Portion out the roasted leeks in the center of the polenta. Place one whole squab atop the leeks, and adorn with mushrooms cascading from the top of the bird and around to garnish. Enjoy with a glass of Nickel & Nickel Suscol Ranch Merlot!