Roast Squab with Rice Pilau

Remember that squab (young pigeons), rabbit, pheasant, quail, and squirrel may be interchanged in recipes. Blanche Rhett’s recipe, below, begins the 20 pages of pilau recipes in Two Hundred Years of Charleston Cooking. She assumes your Lowcountry kitchen will contain some mustard pickles. A standard mustard pickle formula is included in the Ats Jaar recipe.


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 squab, dressed mustard pickle juice


For the stuffing, use a rice pilau made as follows: Dice the bacon and cook in a skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon, add the chopped onion and celery to the bacon drippings, and let them brown over medium heat. Cook the rice in the chicken stock until tender. Add the bacon and the onion and celery mixture. Beat the eggs and add to the rice, stirring well so that the heat of the rice cooks the eggs. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Stuff the squab with the mixture and make mounds of the remainder in a roasting pan. Lay the squabs on top of the mounds of stuffing. Bake for about 25 minutes, basting the squab frequently with mustard pickle juice. The mustard pickle adds a piquancy to the squab and combines well with the pilau stuffing.