Pigeon is easy to prepare and eat, but sometimes you just want to do something different with it. This great-looking and tasty recipe brings the flavours of Spain to your table.

Ingredients: (serves two)

• aubergine, sliced • olive oil • onion, finely chopped • one or two cloves of garlic, diced • olives, sliced • chorizo (Spanish cured pork), diced • dried or fresh thyme • two pigeon breasts, skinned and finely diced • Spanish wine • a packet of puff pastry • milk

Method

1. Fry the aubergine in a little olive oil and remove to cool. Fry the onion, garlic, olives and chorizo with a good sprinkling of thyme. Remove to cool. If necessary, add another small splash of olive oil and fry the pigeon breasts. Once cooked, remove to a separate plate, deglaze the pan on a high heat with a splash of wine and let it bubble, scraping the juices around until the wine is nearly gone. Pour the remaining liquid over the pigeon to keep it moist.

2. Meanwhile, cut the packet of puff pastry in half, then cut one half in half again, making two quarters. (You can freeze the remaining half for another time.) Roll out each pastry half on a floured surface until it is just thinner than the thickness of a pencil and measures about 4in by 6in. Score a border about 1/2in inside the edge of each rectangle lightly with a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut through the pastry. Prick the inside rectangle gently all over with a fork. Brush the pastry with some milk (it helps pastry to brown) and cook the pastry in an oven at 200°C/gas mark six for about 15-20 minutes. After about 10-12 minutes, push the rising centre back down, using the back of the fork to flatten it and make an indentation in the pastry.

3. Meanwhile, return all the ingredients for the filling to the frying pan, stir them together and warm through.

4. When the pastry is cooked, put it on a serving plate and fill the centre with the game mixture. Serve immediately and wash down with the remainder of the wine. Olé!

Tips

Place the pastry on a baking sheet before putting it into the preheated oven. Some pastry may take a bit longer to cook. Chorizo is cheap cured Spanish pork sausage infused with paprika, and is available from many grocers and supermarkets; you’ll need about 25g/1oz per person.