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Introduction

Wood Pigeon is a seasonal favourite of mine, and one I’m always delighted to see on the menu of others. Farmison & Co’s wood pigeon is sourced from the upper reaches of Nidderdale, Wharfedale, and Wensleydale. Their feeding is about as natural as you can get, with the birds feeding on all manner of foliage and insects on the moors, valley bottoms, and in the woods. The result is gamey flavour, well served by this hot pot recipe, fresh from my own kitchen.

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Melt half the butter and massage into the pigeon crowns, season well with salt and pepper then leave to get to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile wash your lentils thoroughly and soften the onion with the diced bacon and garlic until sweet and transparent.
  4. Next add the sherry, thyme, and bay leaf.
  5. Boil down to a syrup.
  6. Add the chicken stock, lentils and diced vegetables and cook on a medium heat until the lentils are tender, then leave to infuse.
  7. Place the pigeons on a hot roasting tray skin side down and sear all over on top of the stove.
  8. Place the breasts in the oven facing up and roast for 7 or 8 minutes. Be sure to keep the flesh pink and juicy, then rest for 5 minutes before running a knife down the backbone removing the breast from each side.
  9. When finishing the lentils add a few drops of sherry vinegar, as well as the parsley and a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with cold water, then stir into the simmering lentil hotpot.
  10. Divide the hotpot between the two bowls, placing the pigeon on top and eating with plenty of rustic farmhouse bread and butter.