A spicy dish to cheer up dull January days
Here’s a delicious and useful recipe for spicy pigeon breasts. You can marinate the pigeon breasts for just 20 minutes, but if you can prepare ahead and do it overnight then you’ll get a stronger flavour.
For the spicy pigeon breasts
- 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
- pinch ground cinnamon
- pinch ground ginger
- 4 pigeon breasts
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter
- 1 heaped tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 1 lemon, juice only
For the sweet potato and parsnip mash
- 250g/9oz sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 250g/9oz parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 600ml/20fl oz full-fat milk
- 150g/5½oz unsalted butter, diced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the wild mushrooms
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- knob of butter
- 300g/10½oz fresh mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed.
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To marinate the pigeon breasts, mix the peppercorns with the coriander seeds, cinnamon and ginger. Rub the spice mixture into the pigeon breasts, cover with clingfilm and set aside at room temperature to marinate for at least 20 minutes while you make the mash.
- For the sweet potato and parsnip mash, place the sweet potatoes, parsnips and milk into a large saucepan and season with salt. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. Take care that the milk does not boil over. Strain the potatoes and parsnips, reserving the milk. Mash the potatoes and parsnips together with the butter and some of the milk reserved from the pan until a smooth mash is created. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- To cook the pigeon breasts, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the breasts and cook for 2–3 minutes on one side. Turn the breasts over and add the butter, redcurrant jelly and lemon juice, swirling the pan to form a glaze. Allow to cook for another 2–3 minutes until the meat is cooked through, spooning the glaze over the breasts to coat. Season with salt.
- Meanwhile to cook the mushrooms, heat the oil in a separate frying pan and then add the butter. Once it stops sizzling, add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and parsley and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until the mushrooms are just tender.
- Arrange the sweet potato and parsnip mash on warmed serving plates with the pigeon breasts on top. Spoon over the wild mushrooms and serve.
Thanks to Stanbury’s restaurant at the West London Shooting School for supplying this spicy pigeon breasts recipe.