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Casseroled Pigeon with Herbs and Spices

4 Pigeons; oven-ready
12 cl Garlic
4 ts Fresh thyme; chopped
2 tb Fresh parsley; chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Drippings or lard for frying
1/2 pt Chicken stock
1/2 Lemon; juiced
pn Ground ginger
pn Saffron threads
1/2 ts Ground cinnamon
Fresh herbs for garnish

Stuff each pigeon with 3 garlic cloves, 1 tsp fresh thyme and 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley. Season with a little salt and freshly milled black pepper, then brown the pigeons all over in a little dripping or lard in a heavy flameproof casserole which is just big enough to take them. Pour over the stock, then add the lemon juice, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. Cover with a lid and cook in the centre of a moderate oven (350 degrees F / 180 degrees C / gas mark 4) for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until very tender. Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Serve each person with a pigeon arranged on a slice of wholemeal toast with a little gravy poured over. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Makes about 4 servings.

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