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Breast Of Pigeon With Sage And Black Pepper


Ingredient list

4 pigeons, skin on
2 Tbsp. light olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. carrot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
4 juniper berries
8 peppercorns
125 ml. ( 4 fl. oz. ) red wine
250 ml. ( 8 fl. oz. ) brown chicken stock
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. chopped sage

To garnish

4 sprigs fresh sage
buttered spinach ( or cabbage )


With a sharp pointed knife cut away the breasts from the carcass, keeping your knife towards the bones all the time. Trim the breast fillets into a nice shape, and set to one side. Chop the carcass and legs with a heavy knife, and saute in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil until well browned. Now add the vegetables, garlic, bay leaf, juniper, and peppercorns, and cook out for another five minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all the tasty bits . Reduce the wine until it has almost disappeared, and then add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, and simmer for fifteen minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean pot, stir in the cracked peppercorns, sage, and 1 Tablespoon of butter. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if neccesary.

To cook the pigeon breasts, melt 1 Tablespoon of butter with 1 Tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan. Season the breasts with salt and pepper. When the butter is foaming, add the pigeon breasts, skin side down. Adjust the heat so that the delicate breasts don’t cook too fast, they should brown slowly, without becoming crispy. Cook for about 4 minutes,

then turn over for another two minutes for medium rare. When cooked, remove to a warm plate to rest for 2 minutes.

To serve, remove the skin from the breasts with a sharp knife, and slice each in two. Place a little of the buttered spinach, or cabbage on the plate and place the pigeon on top. Spoon over a little sauce, and decorate with a sprig of sage.

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