Pigeon breast can be pan-fried in just a few minutes on each side to achieve a golden-brown finish with a lovely pink middle. Ideally, choose young birds which have paler, more tender meat. If buying wild pigeon, only buy from a reputable source and carefully check over the meat, avoiding birds with bruised or torn flesh.
Pigeon breasts are a favourite amongst chefs, their rich, sweet and nutty flavour complementing autumnal flavours such as beetroot, butternut squash and mushrooms. The breast can be marinated before cooking, as in Theo Randall’s recipe, which uses Marsala, thyme and garlic to marinate the meat for at least an hour before cooking. For a rich, fruity accompaniment, try Mark Dodson's Wood pigeon with blueberry jus recipe.