It's wood pigeon season and Tom Kitchin has created this stunning recipe for smoked wood pigeon on toast with hazelnut salad, to get the best out of this wonderfully tasty bird.

  • 15
  • 4
  • Medium
Pigeon has a nutty, yet sweet flavour that's a perfect match for earthy root vegetables. Just make sure you don’t overcook the meat, as pigeon is best served a little pink. If you overdo it, it can become quite tough. Celeriac is a great accompaniment, as are chicory and cabbage thanks to the earthy yet sweet flavours, which marry really well with pigeon. 

Ingredients

  • 4 smoked wood pigeon breasts, skin removed
  • 4 tbsp duck fat for frying
  • For the toast
  • 4 thin slices sour dough bread (5mm thick)
  • 100g chicken liver (cleaned, trimmed, chopped finely)
  • 100g wood pigeon liver (cleaned, trimmed, chopped finely)
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp duck fat
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • salt and pepper
  • For the salad
  • 20g frissé lettuce
  • 20g rocket leaves
  • 12 roasted hazelnuts, lightly crushed
  • 1 British apple (cut into batons)
  • salt and pepper
  • For the dressing
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 tsp hazelnut oil

Method

For the toast

Sweat the chopped shallots in 2 tablespoons of duck fat until completely soft, season with salt. Add the brandy and flambé. Leave the mixture to cool completely.
When the shallot mix is cool, add the chopped chicken and pigeon livers, season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on the toasted sour dough bread and leave in the fridge until ready to cook.

For the salad dressing

Whisk the vinegar and mustard together. Keep whisking, and drizzle the oil in slowly until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper

To serve

Add 4 tablespoons of duck fat to a hot pan, when the fat is hot, pan fry the toasts (bread side down first) and the breasts for 2 minutes until golden brown.
Turn the toasts and breast over and pan-fry on the other side for 1 minute. Leave in a warm place while the salad is finished.
Mix the salad ingredients together, add the dressing and season. Divide on to 4 small plates.
Place the toast next to the salad. Carve the breast into slices and lay on top of the warm toast. The breasts should be lightly pink inside but cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of the breast.
Drizzle a little more dressing over the salad and breast before serving.

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.