After discovering just how amazing a local butcher can be, I have been trialling new recipes and new meats that I haven't stumbled across before, except in restaurants and eateries. A little while back, I picked up some wood pigeons from my butcher, and found a super easy and quick recipe to give a go at home.
I haven't tried pigeon before, but have always been intrigued as I love game tastes - pigeon has a subtle game taste and when cooked correctly the meat is tender and soft. I know the preconception on pigeons being the flying rats of the world - but trust me, what you serve at the dinner table is very different from the manky pigeon you see with a gammy leg and patches of missing feathers. Hungry yet? Well, if you can get past that image - scroll down for the recipe!
Adapted from BBC Good Food recipe.
4 oven-ready wood pigeons (these ones were pretty small!)
Selection of herbs such as thyme, sage & rosemary
6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp of olive oil
25g of butter
4 thick slices sourdough bread - I love picking up fresh bread from bakeries, but Tesco do a delicious loaf of sourdough too!
150ml red wine - I love a nice dry red wine, like a Merlot
MY KITCHEN MUST HAVES:
Heat your oven to 220C. Whilst that's getting ready, season the pigeons with salt and pepper, and stuff them with the thyme, sage and rosemary (leaving some herbs to place around the birds). Crush the garlic and place one clove in each pigeon.
Heat the oil and butter in a shallow, ovenproof pan. You will need to spend about 5-6 minutes browning the the birds on all their sides.
Remove the pigeons from the pan and fry your sourdough bread slices on one side until crispy and golden - you can add more butter if you need to.
Once you're happy with the bread, and the pigeons had some time to rest place the pigeons on each slice of bread. Scatter the remaining sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic into the pan (brilliant one pot dish!!). Finish the set up by pouring the red wine over the birds, so it sinks down into the pan.
Finally, put the pan with all of its delicious goodness into your preheated oven for 20 mins. When the birds have crispied up and soaked up the wine and herb juices, remove the pan and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Your end result is a delicious, one pot drunken pigeon dish - enjoy after a long walk in the countryside!