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Pigeons are a menace to the kitchen gardener; they will happily eat away at anything left uncovered and steal any food left out for other, smaller birds in the domestic garden. It seems to me that their only saving grace is there ability to provide a good quality and relatively inexpensive meal.


Because of their availability throughout the year we can enjoy a taste of game regardless of the season, they make useful accompaniments to warm salads, risottos and pasta as well as roasted whole for a main course.

Pigeons can be ordered from your butcher and will ready dressed or ‘oven ready’, try to get the innards as well as these are very useful for adding valuable flavour to your sauce. If you can get pigeon from a farmer or you know somebody who shoots them then all the better, unlike other game they do not require much hanging. Once cleaned with the hearts and livers removed the breasts can be cut and refrigerated. I like to put a sprig of thyme, a clove of garlic and three or four juniper berries into the cavity prior to roasting to flavour the breasts and enrich the sauce.

How to Cook

Content and picture © Miles Collins