Wood Pigeon Salad

Dom Chapman

Dom Chapman

9th January 2018
Dom Chapman

Wood Pigeon Salad

This wood pigeon salad recipe is from our menu at The Beehive, White Waltham. Serves 2.


  • 1 Wood Pigeon
  • 2 slices of Parma Ham
  • 4 quail eggs
  • 12g Pine Nuts
  • 40g of sultanas
  • 8g of frisée lettuce
  • 40g of radicchio
  • 2 2/3 handfuls of pea shoots
  • 40g of redcurrant jelly
  • 40g of crème fraîche
  • 1/4 tsp chives, chopped
  • 10ml of olive oil
  • Maldon Sea Salt
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Hazelnut vinaigrette:
  • 250ml of hazelnut oil
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 50ml of Chardonnay vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Red wine reduction:
  • 500g of wood pigeon, bones only
  • 50g of bacon, cut into lardons
  • 10g of carrots, finely sliced
  • 10g of leek, finely sliced
  • 10g of celery, finely sliced
  • 10g of onion, finely sliced
  • 2g of garlic, minced
  • 50g of button mushrooms
  • 10g of tomatoes, oven roasted
  • 250ml of port
  • 250ml of Madeira
  • 250ml of red wine
  • 2g of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml of veal stock
  • 500ml of chicken stock
  • butter
  • 1g of white peppercorns
  • vegetable oil
  • 1g of pink peppercorns


1. For the red wine reduction, place a large pan on a high heat. Add a small amount of vegetable oil and brown off the pigeon bones on all sides. Once evenly caramelized remove and transfer to a casserole dish.
2. Brown off the bacon in the same pan, remove and place with the pigeon bones. Add a little more oil and the butter to the pan and caramelize the onions, carrots, leeks, celery and garlic
3. Place a small frying pan over a medium to high heat, add a little vegetable oil and a knob of butter. Caramelize the button mushrooms until dark and golden.
4. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Cut the tomatoes in half and place flat side down on a tray with a little water. Place in the oven and roast until soft and caramelized. Once all the vegetables are caramelized, add to casserole dish with the pigeon and bacon.
5. Deglaze the large pan with the port and Madeira and reduce by half. Add red wine and again reduce by half.
6. Once the wine has reduced, add to pigeon, bacon and caramelized vegetables. Add the veal and chicken stocks, peppercorns, thyme and bay. Bring to a simmer and skim off any impurities that rise to the top.
7. Simmer for 1 hour then pass the reduction through a fine strainer. Place back on the heat and reduce to a thin syrup like consistency. Season to taste and pass through fine sieve again
8. For the vinaigrette, whisk the mustard and vinegar together and then gradually add the oil slowly to emulsify. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate.
9. For the pigeon salad, slice the ham to setting one on your slicer, alternatively ask your local deli to do this for you.
10. Lay the sliced ham on an oven tray and place under the grill on a medium to high heat until crisp. Leave the ham to cool, and then break into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container until required.
11. To prepare the quail eggs, bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil. Lower the eggs into the boiling water for 2 minutes 15 seconds, then refresh in iced water. Peel and set aside for later use.
12. Toast the pine nuts in the oven until golden brown. Place the sultanas in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, drain and place on absorbent towel to absorb any excess moisture.
13. To prepare the salad, pick the light green parts of the frisée and wash in cold water, drain. Carefully pick pea shoots but do not wash. Remove outer leaves from radicchio leaving the crunchy crisp inner leaves or heart.
14. Roughly cut through the radicchio leaves and place in a large bowl with the frisée and pea shoots. Add in the pine nuts, and sultanas and season with salt. Place to one side while preparing the wood pigeon.
15. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Generously season the pigeons with salt and pepper and place into the oven for 8 minutes (pigeon should be served pink so do not be tempted to over-cook). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
16. Remove the breasts from the pigeons and slice evenly into strips.
17. Distribute the pigeon evenly across the middle of 4 plates and scatter the pine nuts and sultanas around. Add the crème fraiche and redcurrant jelly to the plates.
18. Lightly dress the salad and arrange on the wood pigeon. Stand the pieces of Cumbrian ham in the crème fraîche. Finish the dish with quail egg halves, chives, Moldon sea salt, the red wine reduction and olive oil.

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