I spotted 6 of these little beauties at the Rode Hall Farmers Market, originally I went to this stall for chicken thighs but the bloke said, in a round about way, he couldn’t be arsed to prep them the morning of the market. Already disappointed that the fish man had sold out of Crayfish tails by 10am and being jostled by people with no sense of spatial awareness I was beginning to rage. Then the thought of succulent pigeon breast placated me. That was until I had to beat off a troupe of octogenarians to buy some Veg.
Anyway the dish, Ok so I did a bit of searching and most of the Pigeon dishes called for either whole pigeons or blackberries. So no luck there, I had Pigeon breast once before at a restaurant and the sauce was nice but I couldn’t remember the taste.
Then I saw one with bacon …. Hmmm salty bacon and Gamey Pigeon that’ll do.
So Here’s what I came up with. I started by crisping up some streaky bacon in pan then frying the pigeon, a whole raft of flavours were left stuck invitingly at bottom, like a carpet of Savoury loveliness. Red wine to deglaze, then pour off to make a dressing with oil, sugar and vinegar. Some leaves for balance and big huge olive bread crutony things for texture
Serves 4 as a Starter
6 Pigeon breasts
8 rashers of Streaky Bacon
Splash of Red wine
Tablespoon red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons of Rapeseed oil
Teaspoon of sugar
8 Slices of Olive Bread (other bread is fine really) about 2 inches per slice
Season the Pigeon breasts with Salt and Pepper, rub with Olive oil and put to one side
Take a large frying pan (not non stick is best for leaving the most taste residue) brush lightly with olive oil and heat.
Fry the streaky bacon until golden and crispy, remove from the pan and place on kitchen towel to drain.
Fry the breasts for a couple of mins on each side, if you cut open a breast and the middle is still just pink then you’re done.
Remove the breasts and leave to rest, deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping round with a spatula to get all the bits of the bottom of the pan. Reduce the red wine by half, pour into a bowl and whisk in the Rapeseed oil, vinegar and sugar .. Taste and add, a little at a time, more of what you like until you get the balance just how you like it.
Toast the bread slices either under the grill or on a griddle pan
Slice the Pigeon on an angle
Dress the salad, place the bread on the plate, top with Salad, then bacon broken into pieces, add the slices of pigeon and finally drizzle over some more of the dressing.