Roasted wood pigeon

Wood pigeon is a great way to start cooking game as it is a fairly easy but delicious, and very versatile. It is widely available in larger supermarkets and butchers and surprisingly cheap! Here is a perfect, delicious recipe if you are new to cooking pigeon!

Roasted wood pigeon

Serving size 4


  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 wood pigeons
  • 12 medium shallots
  • 12 button mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 100 milliters port
  • 200 milliters dark chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • pinch black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and leave whole. Blanch in boiling water, drain and rinse.
  3. Heat the oil in a large casserole pan and add the shallots, cooking until they turn a golden brown. Add the garlic cloves and stir and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Tip in the mushrooms and add the thyme, bay leaf and port. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place the casserole along with pigeon in the oven for 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the pigeons from the casserole, transfer to a plate and leave to rest covered in kitchen foil, for about five minutes. Strain the sauce from the pan – reserving the liquid and cooked shallots, mushroom and garlic in separate bowls.
  6. Take the skin off the pigeons and make sure you remove the bones from the breast and legs.
  7. Now make the sauce, tip the bones into a saucepan and pour in the stock and strained sauce from the casserole pan. Cook down until syrupy, over a medium heat – about 5 minutes.
  8. Strain the sauce and discard the bones. Stir in the butter, in small pieces, away from the heat – this gives the sauce a glossy sheen and adds richness.
  9. Place the warm cooked mushrooms, shallots and garlic on a plate and cover with the pigeon.
  10. Pour the sauce over the pigeons and serve straight away.

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