Roast wood pigeon, chicory, rhubarb

Robin Gill's gorgeous dish of roasted wood pigeon is served with marinated rhubarb, chicory, and a delicious sauce made from the offal of the birds. Robin recommends squeezing the bird carcasses over the plates at the table – a fun if macabre way to finish a dish. This recipe was taken from Larder by Robin Gill, published by Absolute Press. Photography by Paul Winch-Furness.

First published in 2018
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Grilled rhubarb

Braised chicory

Roast Wood Pigeon and Sauce

  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • 4 wood pigeons, plucked and trussed (ask your butcher to clean the carcass but to give you the livers and hearts separately for your sauce)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 50ml of brown chicken stock
  • 200g of muscat grapes, or black seedless (removed from the stem)
  • 1 tsp sweet sherry vinegar

Method

1
To begin, mix together the salt, sugar and rhubarb in a mixing bowl. Leave to marinate for 1 hour, then drain off the excess liquid
2
Char the rhubarb on a very hot ridged grill pan for 2 minutes, to scorch on all sides, until it is just tender. Remove and keep warm
3
Cut the chicory in half lengthways. Put all the remaining ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil. Whisk together, then place the chicory in the liquid. Simmer on a low heat for 10–15 minutes or until the chicory is tender on the stem
4
Allow to cool in the liquid. Warm through for serving
5
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3–4
6
Stuff the thyme and juniper into the cavities of the birds. Set a large pan over a high heat, add a little vegetable oil and colour the birds all over. Transfer them to a roasting tray and roast for 12–15 minutes. Allow the to rest for 5 minutes
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • 4 wood pigeons, plucked and trussed (ask your butcher to clean the carcass but to give you the livers and hearts separately for your sauce)
  • vegetable oil
7
Meanwhile, finely chop the pigeon hearts and livers. Add the butter to the pan you used to brown the birds, followed by the chopped hearts and livers, the stock and grapes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar to taste and keep warm
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 50ml of brown chicken stock
  • 1 tsp sweet sherry vinegar
  • 200g of muscat grapes, or black seedless (removed from the stem)
8
Remove the breasts and legs from the wood pigeon carcasses and keep warm in the roasting tray
9
Arrange the drained chicory and rhubarb on each plate, followed by the pigeon breasts and legs, and the heart and liver sauce. Take the bloody carcasses to the table and hand-squeeze over the entire dish. It’s bound to cause a stir!
First published in 2018
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Dublin-born Robin Gill has worked under revered chefs such as Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc, but his own string of restaurants – Sorella, Bermondsey Larder and Darby's – are relaxed, innovative and very exciting.

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