How to cook pigeon breast

How to cook pigeon breast

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to cook pigeon breast

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.



Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium-high heat
Season both sides of the pigeon breasts with salt
Once the pan is hot, add the pigeon breasts skin-side down and cook until golden brown – this will take 2–3 minutes each side
Add a knob of butter and baste the breasts when it melts
Remove the breasts from the pan and leave to rest for approximately 5 minutes
For well-done meat, transfer to the oven for a few minutes to cook through


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.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.