This is a quick and easy dish for entertaining. First, find a pigeon! It’s easy to find here at our French markets but now I appreciate that it’s not plain sailing to find it perhaps where you live.
I tend to use apricots in this dish but when in season, this is delicious served with roasted figs. I normally get the butcher to prepare the pigeon and ensure that there are no feathers left on it. The filets or suprèmes are beautifully tender and should still be pink in the middle. The photo is terrible here, I apologise. But when serving and juggling with a camera, I’m not used to doing this like a pro! Rest assured that the taste is absolutely delicious …
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
2 pigeons (prepared by your butcher)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp honey
100ml mango juice (or apple juice)
12 dried apricots, halved
sprig of thyme
1 With a sharp knife, cut off the thighs then the wings. Extract the filets (suprèmes) by cutting at the middle on either side of the bone, letting the knife feel the bone. Keep the skin on. You will have 4 filets for 2 pigeons. Chill in cling film until needed.
2 In a heavy lidded casserole dish, heat the butter and quickly stir in the ginger until golden. Add the honey, thighs, wings and carcasses for about 2-3 minutes until golden and sealed in the glaze.
3 Add the Whisky, mango juice, apricots and thyme. Cover and simmer gently for 35 minutes. Take out the carcasses, leaving the wings and thighs in the reduced sauce.
4 10 minutes before serving, warm the plates. Season the pigeon filets then fry skin-side down for 2-3 minutes in a knob of butter and dash of olive oil. Turn over and fry for another 2 minutes then turn skin side down for one more minute. Leave to rest in the pan for 2 minutes as you prepare the rest.
Serve with a mellow red, such as Crozes Hermitage and a good French baguette. Here I’ve served the pigeon with sweet potato chips (French Fries).
See related blog post: Flaming Pigeon for Another Romantic Meal.