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Woodpigeon, wild cherries and gingerbread

This easy woodpigeon recipe combines some unusual ingredients, looks wonderful and tastes even better ... Serves four

easy woodpigeon recipe

Woodpigeon, wild cherries and gingerbread

Serving woodpigeon with wild cherries and gingerbread may not be something you’d ever think of doing, but this unusual combination works together very well.
Wild cherries aren’t yet in season but it won’t be long – and it pays to have some advance warning because you may have to get to them before the birds do! In the meantime, you could use shop-bought cherries instead. This easy woodpigeon recipe calls for softly crumbled gingerbread, which you can buy ready-made, but you could make your own with this gingerbread recipe here.


200g wild cherries

20ml red wine

20g sugar

100g gingerbread

8 woodpigeon breasts

Cornish sea salt

Milled black pepper


  1. Place the cherries in a thick-bottomed pan with the wine and sugar. Cook slowly over a low heat until they form a soft and sticky compote.
  2. Gently break up the gingerbread with your fingers to make soft crumbs. Alternatively, put it in a food processor, or place it in a sealable plastic freezer bag and bash it with a rolling pin.
  3. Season the woodpigeon breasts with the salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan for one minute each side.
  4. Place the seared pigeon breasts into a hot oven (200°C) for two minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a further two minutes, then slice.
  6. Place a dollop of wild cherry compote on each plate, arrange the sliced pigeon next to it, then top with gingerbread crumb.

This recipe is from the Countryside Alliance’s Game-to-Eat campaign, which is dedicated to promoting wild British game meat. It also champions the produce of the UK’s shoots, gamedealers, butchers and farm shops.