Pigeon Casserole

A tasty dish, Pigeon Casserole may be served with mashed potatoes and steamed French beans.

1 oz. butter slices lean bacon, chopped

8 spring onions , trimmed and chopped

8 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and halved

4 pigeons, oven-ready

1 pint water

4 teaspoons tomato puree grated rind of

1 lemon

Preheat the oven to moderate 350’F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam sub-sides, add the bacon and spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until the bacon is lightly browned.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and spring onions from the pan and place them in a large ovenproof casserole.

Place the pigeons in the frying-pan and cook them, turning them frequently, for 3 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Using tongs or two large spoons, transfer the pigeons to the casserole.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 3 minutes or until they are well coated with the butter.

Tip the contents of the frying-pan over the pigeons. Return the pan to high heat, pour in the water and stir in the tomato puree and lemon rind. When the liquid boils, remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into the casserole. Cover the casserole and place it in the oven.

Cook the pigeons for 1 hour or until the breasts are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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