A whole woodpigeon will serve one person. Woodpigeon breasts are served in packs of four and will serve two people as a starter.
Wood pigeon is versatile, widely available and is generally considered the tastiest of all pigeons. It has a wonderfully dark meat and subtle gamey flavour and is also excellent value. Young birds make a great roast and their breasts can be roasted or fast-fried for a gamey steak. Older birds make excellent casseroles or pies and their carcasses are also very good for soups as they produce a rich stock.
Woodpigeon breasts can be pan-fried in a hot, non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. Brush with olive oil or melted butter before cooking to prevent drying out. The breasts will also benefit from marinating in olive oil, herbs and spices up to 12 hours before cooking to increase tenderness.
Goes well with:
The gamey taste of pigeon is balanced very well by cherries which give a sweet counterpoint. A confit of apples and shallots can produce similar results. Earthier ingredients like butter beans also go very well with woodpigeon. Also goes with bacon; chilli; coriander; ginger; honey and thyme.
Warning: Bird may contain shot.