André Garrett's roast woodpigeon

 

pigeon_dish_mainRoast woodpigeon, peas, wild garlic, black pudding purée and liver toast.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Woodpigeon

4 whole woodpigeons, feathered and intact
Rapeseed oil
100g duck fat
Seasoning
100g salted butter
1 clove garlic
2 sprigs thyme

Black pudding purée

1 boudin noir (French black pudding from speciality shops)
20ml apple vinegar
30ml double cream
Salt and pepper

Liver toast

Cleaned livers and hearts from birds
50g foie gras
1 small baguette
1 sprig thyme
Splash of Armagnac
20g salted butter

Garnish

200g fresh peas, podded
1 bunch wild garlic
12 baby onions
20 morel mushrooms
150g butter

Sauce

40g chopped carrot
40g chopped shallot
40g chopped celery
1 clove garlic
3 sprigs thyme
1 pinch coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
40ml madeira
400ml good veal stock
Roasted pigeon carcasses

Method

Woodpigeon

Pluck the birds and singe lightly with a blow torch to take away any unwanted feathers etc., debone the legs, wings, wishbone and remove the innards. (If you are not confident doing this, ask your butcher).
Put the hearts and livers to one side and tie the bird for roasting.
Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, season the birds inside and out, then sear slowly all over, being careful not to over-do the breast meat (pay particular attention to the back and sides).
Add the salted butter, crushed garlic and thyme and baste the birds gently as they cook in the butter.
Move to an oven preheated to 160°C and turn and baste every 2 minutes.
Cook for 10 minutes until the flesh is a pink colour – the meat should be firm but bounce back easily when pressed with your fingers – then rest in a warm place.  Then remove the breasts and chop the bones for sauce.
Singe the legs with the torch, heat the duck fat until melted and add the legs.
Allow to confit slowly for 1 hour on a very low heat, being careful not to boil.
Let the legs rest and cool in the pan, then remove. To reheat, crisp the legs in a small pan in the oven at 160°C for 10 minutes, then season and serve.

Black pudding purée

Heat the vinegar and cream.
Skin and chop the black pudding, add to the blender with the vinegar and cream and blend to a smooth paste.
Season to taste and keep warm.

Liver toast

Chop the hearts, livers and foie gras. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the butter and let it foam.
Add the liver mix and sauté fast, season and add the chopped thyme, then add the Armagnac. Taste and correct if necessary, before slicing the baguette lengthways and toasting. Spread the liver mix on when serving. 

Garnish

Pick the peas from the pods and the stalks from the wild garlic and set aside, then peel the baby onions (keeping the root intact), and trim and wash the morels and allow to dry.
Add the onions to a small pan, fill half-way with water and add 100g butter, season with salt and a pinch of sugar and allow to boil gently.
When cooked through, strain through a sieve and keep the stock to reduce in the pan to a glaze. Add the onions and toss over to glaze, then set aside.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, season with salt, add the peas and cook for 1 minute before straining.
Place the pan back on the stove, turn up the heat and melt 50g butter, add the mushrooms and cook gently for 2–3 minutes.
When tender, add the peas and the wild garlic leaves back to the pan, toss, add the baby onions and season.

Sauce

Roast the vegetables in a pan until coloured, then add the spice, thyme, chopped carcasses and trimmings.
Deglaze with a little water and reduce and glaze the bones over. When dry, add the madeira and glaze again.
Add the stock, bring to the boil, skim and turn down the heat, then simmer gently for an hour or so to extract all of the flavours.
Strain to a smaller pan and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.
Season to taste and finally strain again.

To serve

Warm the breasts and slice in two pieces, then warm the plates and arrange the pea garnish, add the breasts, legs and toast, and drape with a few wild garlic leaves. Pour over the sauce and serve.

 

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