Squab or pigeon meat is a healthy alternative to common poultry like chicken and turkey. In this blog post, you will get an learn about different pigeon cuts of meat and how to cook them for maximum flavor and enjoyment, in addition to the flavor and protein.
Pigeon is a popular game bird can be cooked in a variety of ways from pan-frying or grilling to roasting or braising it with vegetables. Here are the primary squab cuts.
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you!
Since most pigeons are not that large, they are usually eaten whole. They can be roasted or grilled on a spit, or braised/stewed with vegetables.
Whole pigeons are the ideal method of presentation for special occasions like weddings and banquets. Prepare them by splitting the squab down (i.e., butterfly) the back to ensure even cooking, then stuff with your choice of bread, fruit, and/or vegetable stuffing. Roast the squab in a hot oven until golden brown.
The breast is arguably the most popular cut of pigeon. The meat is located under the breast bone and above the wings. The meat will have a rustic, gamey flavor. The meat needs to be cooked through and is traditionally served with the leg.
Otherwise known as the Maryland, the legs and thighs of a pigeon can be separated at the joint into two smaller pieces known as leg quarters. Leg quarters are great pan-fried or grilled because they’re very meaty and tender to eat. They also require less cooking time than the whole bird.
Other Squab Cuts
The other cuts of a pigeon are worth mentioning, though they are all mainly used for cooking up a rich, flavored stock.
A pigeon’s wing is not just skin and bone. The meat from the wings can be separated from the skin and bones, then cut into 2-inch pieces.
The whole legs and thighs can be cut off the bird. After separating, the meat must be marinated overnight before cooking because they’re quite tough (but flavorful). They are often used in a confit, like duck.
Squab / Pigeon Cuts Conclusion
Pigeon meat is a popular, healthy alternative to red meat. It’s also delicious with several cuts to choose from. It’s a bit gamier and “wilder” than chicken, and works well roasted or on the grill. Even though breast is the most useful, every part of the pigeon can be used to add maximum flavor to a range of dishes.