Anjou pigeon, sweetcorn purée, red onion petals and bacon popcorn

Agnar Sverrisson combines a variety of interesting tastes and textures in this striking pigeon recipe. To make the pigeon, the chef first cooks the legs and breasts in a water bath before searing them with a blowtorch.

First published in 2015




Anjou pigeon

  • 2 pigeons, preferably Angou pigeons

Bacon popcorn

Sweetcorn purée

  • 2 corn on the cob
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • olive oil
  • salt

Sweetcorn kernels

  • 2 corn on the cob
  • 25ml of olive oil
  • salt

Red onion petals


  • Chamber sealer
  • Water bath
  • Vacuum bags
  • Blowtorch
  • Dehydrator
  • Blender


Begin by making the bacon popcorn. Dice the bacon into small pieces and heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the bacon until crispy then drain well, reserving the fat. Chop the bacon into a very fine crumb and dry in a dehydrator overnight at 60°C
Preheat a water bath to 70°C
Remove the legs from the pigeons and cut out the thigh bones. Set aside the breasts. Season the legs with a little salt, wrap tightly in cling film and place in a vacuum bag. Seal in a chamber sealer and cook in the water bath for 2 hours
Cook the popcorn in the reserved bacon fat in a saucepan until it pops, then season with some of the bacon crumb
To make the corn purée, remove the corn from the cob and place the kernels and cobs in a vacuum bag with the lemon, olive oil and salt. Cook for 1 hour in a pan of simmering water
  • 2 corn on the cob
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Meanwhile, prepare the sweetcorn kernels. Place the corn in a vacuum bag with the olive oil and seal in a chamber sealer. Place the bag in a pan of simmering water and cook for 45 minutes. Shave the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife and season with salt. Set aside until ready to serve
  • 25ml of olive oil
  • 2 corn on the cob
  • salt
To finish the corn purée, remove the corn from the bag and discard the cob. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, adding a little water if necessary. Set aside until ready to serve
To make the red onion petals, first make a red wine reduction. Place the wine, salt, sugar and vinegar in a saucepan and reduce to a light syrup. Stir in the xanthan gum and set aside
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2l red wine
  • 60g of sugar
  • 50ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
Cut the onion into segments, leaving the root intact, and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Refresh in iced water. Separate the onion into layers, place in the red wine reduction and keep warm until ready to serve
  • 1 red onion
Preheat a water bath to 62°C
Carve the pigeon breasts from the crown and season with salt. Transfer to a vacuum bag, seal in a chamber sealer and cook in the water bath for 12 minutes
When ready to serve, remove the pigeon breasts and legs from their vacuum bags and sear with a blowtorch
To serve, swirl the sweetcorn purée around the plate and spoon some sweetcorn kernels on top. Place 3 red onion petals next to the sweetcorn and drizzle over a little of the red wine reduction
Add a pigeon breast and leg to each plate, sprinkle over some bacon crumb and garnish with the popcorn and turnip seedlings
First published in 2015

Agnar Sverrisson’s modern European food combines seasonal British ingredients with Icelandic specialities, serving rustic, Nordic-inflected plates that highlight textural contrast and clean, intense flavours.

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