Pigeon breast recipe

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

– Pigeon breasts: two

– Lincolnshire poacher cheese: 50g

– Garlic bread: 1 slice

– Mayonnaise: 1 tbsp spoon

– Rocket: 50g

– Tea-soaked sultanas: 10g

– Hazelnuts: 10g

– Balsamic vinegar: 1 tsp

– Salt & pepper: 1 pinch

– Butter: 5g

– Garlic: 1 clove

HOW TO COOK IT

Make a pot of jasmine tea (get the tea-bags from any supermarket) and pour the sultanas into the pot.

Leave them to soak for a few hours while you go and shoot a woodpigeon.

De-breast the bird by following our step-by-step guide adjacent (see page 47 if you want to take the crown off the bird in the field.)

Pan fry the pigeon breast in butter with half of the garlic clove for 2.1/2 minutes each side – and season with the balsamic and salt and pepper – and then rest in a warm place for a couple of minutes.

Toast some bread and rub it with the other half of the garlic clove.

Dress the rocket with chopped hazelnuts, the tea-soaked sultanas and the mayonnaise.

The next step is to build the salad on a plate with shaved Lincolnshire poacher cheese and then place the garlic crouton (toast) on top.

Finally place the pigeon breast on the toast and pour over the juice from the pan.

For effect, add a slice of crispy bacon if required.

1: Lie the bird on its back and dislocate the leg left by twisting it out and away from the main body. This will also tear the skin under the feathers.

Pigeon breast recipe2: Place both thumbs into the tear and start to pull the skin apart.

Pigeon breast recipe3: Gently peel back the skin and feathers towards the head.

Pigeon breast recipe4: Revealing the breasts.

Pigeon breast recipe5: Slice down along the breastbone, keeping the knife at a slight angle. Gently ease the flesh off as you cut towards the wings.

Pigeon breast recipe6: Wipe to clean up the breast and it’s ready for the pan!

Pigeon breast recipeABOUT THE CHEF

When he’s not out shooting, Mark is the Head Chef at The Finch’s Arms in Hambleton – a traditional 17th century English country inn, with beamed ceilings, cask ales and a small bustling bar with magnificent views overlooking Rutland Water.

Formerly the proprietor of the Tollemache Arms in Buckminster, Leicestershire, Mark has also been chef at the Restaurant Pierre Orsi, Lyons and Raymond Blanc’s le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford.

www.finchsarms.co.uk