A delicious new way with pigeon breasts

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Today’s recipe comes from Chef Rob Avery of the Jack Russell Inn, in Faccombe, Hampshire. The food served is grown locally on the surrounding Faccombe Estate and if you fancy staying overnight, there are 11 bedrooms – all named after dog breeds in keeping with the Jack Russell theme!

This pigeon dish looks impressive but it’s actually very simple to prepare. You’ll need to start the day before by marinating the pigeon breasts. The recipe calls for morels (a type of mushroom) but you can use wild mushrooms instead. A hand blender makes creating a purée very simple or you can press the mixture through a sieve.

Pan seared Faccombe woodpigeon with caramelised parsnip puree, morel and sherry jus

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 pigeon breasts
  • 2 parsnips
  • Demerara sugar
  • Sherry
  • 200ml game stock
  • 10g butter
  • 100ml double cream
  • 10 morels (or wild mushrooms)
  • Red wine for marinating
  • Fresh thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
pigeon dish

Where to sell your woodpigeon

A gamedealer Gamedealers will be more than happy to buy woodpigeon and, depending on the time of year and numbers…

Method

Start by marinating the pigeon breasts overnight in the red wine, garlic, bay leave and thyme. Cover and place in the fridge. (Tip: don’t use a metal bowl as it will taint the marinade mixture.)

The next day, peel & chop the parsnips evenly and take out the core. Sauté in butter and oil until golden brown then add the double cream and brown sugar. Reduce until sticky and soft. Puree the mixture using a sieve or a hand blender and add seasoning as desired.

Take the pigeon breasts from the marinade and in a separate pan fry the pigeon breast in a little butter and oil until brown on both sides.  Baste with the butter in the pan for 1 minute on both sides, then put on a warmed plate to one side to rest.

In the same pan sauté the morels, add the sherry, reduce the sauce, then add the game stock and thyme. Reduce with a little butter at the end. Place the pigeon on the parsnip purée and drizzle with the sauce. For a professional finish, garnish with vegetable chips and redcurrants.