Coating the pigeon breasts in egg white and starch makes the meat tender and succulent. The soft cooking chorizo turns the mash into a meal in itself, and works well with the pigeon. Red wine butter sauce is slightly over the top, but does add another taste profile.
- 12 pigeon breasts, boned, skinned and secondary skin and sinew removed
- 1/2 medium egg white
- 2 tablespoons cornflour or arrowroot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus another 6 tablespoons for cooking the pigeon
- a pinch of salt
- 500g potatoes, such as Marfona, White King Edward or Wilja
- 50g butter or 4 tablespoons olive oil
- about 100ml hot milk
- 2 small soft cooking chorizo, about 200g total weight, skinned and cut into 5mm cubes
- 3 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
- 1 small glass full-bodied red wine
- 1 shallots, very finely chopped
- 100g ice-cold butter, diced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the egg white and cornflour or arrowroot together well in a shallow dish.
Add the 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt, then whisk again.
Add the whole pigeon breasts and mix well to coat. Cover the dish with clingfilm
and chill for 20 minutes.
Peel and cut the potatoes into regular pieces. Put the potatoes in a saucepan of
water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes until they
are cooked through. Drain well and leave in a colander to steam dry for 5 minutes.
Add the butter or olive oil and mash well or push through a ricer. Whisk in enough
hot milk to get a soft but not runny mash – it should not be too creamy. Keep warm.
Heat a non-stick frying pan, add the chorizo and cook until the fat runs. Then add
to the mash and stir in. Keep covered and warm – it will look great.
Put the vinegar, red wine, shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper into a saucepan
Bring to the boil, then cook down until you have 2-3 tablespoons left.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the cold butter, whisking all the time. The
sauce will thicken naturally; do not boil. Check the seasoning and adjust if
necessary. Keep covered and warm.
Heat a large frying pan and add the & tablespoons olive oil.
Carefully lift the pigeon breasts out of the bowl and remove most of the starch and
egg white coating. Saute in the hot oil for 2 minutes, then turn over for a further
minute or two. Transfer the pigeon to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and
leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Do not overcook – the pigeon needs to
be nice and pink still when sliced.
When ready to serve, slice the breasts on a long angle. For each serving, place a
large spoon of mash in the centre of a warm deep bowl. Top with three sliced
pigeon breasts and a good spoonful of sauce.