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Pigeon Poche Grille

1 sm Pigeon; approx 200g (8oz) per person
16 Shallots
16 Garlic cloves
100 g Mixed mushrooms; (3 1/2oz)
200 g Swede; peeled and cut into chunks (7oz)
100 g Unsalted butter; (3 1/2oz)
100 g Salsify; (3 1/2oz)
500 ml Chicken stock; (1 pint)

Prepare the pigeon by removing the legs and wings, leaving the breast intact on the carcass of the pigeon.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan and cook the pigeon breasts in the stock for 5-6 minutes then remove and leave to rest and cool down. Allow the stock to continue to simmer as this will reduce and become your sauce.

In a saucepan saut‚e the swede in the butter until it is tender, about 15 minutes, then blend until it is completely smooth, season and keep warm. Saut‚e the peeled shallots and unpeeled garlic cloves in olive oil until they are tender. Set aside and keep warm. Saut‚e the salsify in olive oil until tender, set aside and keep warm.

Heat a griddle pan until it is very hot. Carefully carve the breasts off the pigeon carcass and smooth over a little olive oil. Grill the breasts on the very hot griddle, skin side down, turning every minute or so until the are pink, which should take about 4-5 minutes. Baste them with the oil and juices as they cook. Allow to rest while you complete the sauce.

The stock should be reduced to about 200ml (7fl oz). Strain and return to the hot pan. Season to taste and then beat in small chunks of unsalted butter until the sauce is glossy, smooth and slightly thickened. Check the seasoning.

To assemble the dish, put a round serving of the pur‚ed swede in the centre of the plate with the shallots, garlic cloves and salsify around. Cut each pigeon breast in 2 horizontally and arrange on top of the swede. Spoon the hot sauce around and over the vegetables.

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