Herb Recipes: Game and Poultry Dishes

PIGEON PIE

2 young pigeons, cut into joints

½ lb rump steak, cut into small cubes

1 dessertsp seasoned flour

4 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped 4 oz lean bacon, de-rinded and chopped Stock or water 6 oz flaky pastry

For the forcemeat balls

2 rounded tablesp fresh breadcrumbs

1 tablesp melted dripping or lard

1 level dessertsp chopped parsley

½ teasp chopped lemon verbena, a pinch if dried

1 small egg, lightly beaten, or ½ large egg

Sprinkle seasoned flour over cubed meat and pigeon joints. Pre-heat oven to 220°C, 425°F. Mark 7. Make forcemeat balls: chop pigeon livers, and mix all the ingredients except the egg together, add sufficient egg to make a binding texture and form into small balls. Place half the bacon and mushrooms in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, with some of the forcemeat balls, cover with the pigeon joints and steak, sprinkle remaining bacon and mushrooms over. Fill up side gaps with the rest of the forcemeat balls. Half fill dish with cold stock or water. Cover with the pastry, make a hole in the centre of the top and place towards top of hot oven. Cook 15 min to brown pastry, reduce heat to 180°C, 350°F, Mark 4 and cook for a further VA—V/i hours, placing foil over if pastry gets too brown. Traditionally the pie would be served with two pigeons’ feet placed in the hole just before serving, but a fresh sprig of parsley may appeal more.

4 helpings

SOMERSET CHICKEN 4 chicken portions Seasoned flour

3 oz butter

1 level dessertsp dried thyme, rosemary, sage and tarragon

mixed together ¼ pt dry cider Salt and pepper Watercress for garnish

Toss the chicken joints in seasoned flour. Melt the butter in a large frying pan, seal the chicken in the butter until golden, sprinkle the mixed herbs over the joints and cover the pan. Cook over low heat until chicken is tender. Place joints on a warmed serving dish. Pour the cider in the pan, mix with the pan juices, season with salt and pepper to taste, and when hot pour sauce over the chicken. Serve garnished with watercress.

4 helpings

CHARLTON CHICKEN

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 oz butter

4 chicken joints

1 tablesp chopped fennel

1 teasp chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

½ pt dry white wine ¼ pt chicken stock

2 egg yolks beaten with 2 tablesp strained lemon juice or

cornflour blended with cold water

Soften onion in melted butter, remove onion and brown chicken joints. Return onion to the pan and add all the other ingredients except the egg yolks, put lid on pan, bring to boil and simmer until chicken is cooked (about 45 min). Remove pan from heat and add egg yolk mixture, or thicken gravy with blended cornflour.

4 helpings

CELTIC DUCKLING

1 duckling, 4 ¼—5½ lb (if frozen leave until thoroughly

thawed) Salt and pepper

2 tablesp cold water

2 oz butter

12 small onions

3 rashers bacon, de-rinded and chopped

1 sprig summer savory or rosemary

¼ pt giblet stock

Pre-heat oven to 180°C, 350°F, Mark .4. Prepare bird, rub salt into the skin, sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside the bird. Lay breast downwards on the rack in a roasting tin, add

2 tablesp water to the tin. Allow 25—30 min per lb cooking

time. Turn bird over after 45 min. Melt butter in a pan,

lightly fry onions until golden, add chopped bacon and fry,

tossing or shaking pan for 3 min. 45 min before end of

cooking time pour off most of fat in roasting tin, add the

onions and bacon, put small pieces of savory or rosemary

around, sprinkle in salt and pepper, pour in the stock and

continue cooking.

Served garnished as you like.

6 helpings

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