Pigeons a la Nicoise

Pigeons a la Nifoise (pee-john ah la nec-swaz) is ideal for an informal dinner parly and may be served with Garlic Bread, steamed broccoli and new potatoes.

1 tablespoons olive oil pigeons, oven-ready

1 tablespoon butter

8 oz. very small white onions, peeled

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 anchovies, chopped -i- teaspoon dried chervil

10 fl. oz. beef stock

10 fl. oz. dry white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon beurre manic

4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the pigeons and cook them, turning them frequently, for 3 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Reduce the heat to low and cook the pigeons for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and garlic and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Remove the frying-pan from the heat.

Add the onion and garlic mixture to the pigeons, scatter over the anchovies and chervil and pour in the stock, wine and lemon juice. Add the salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to moderate and bring the liquid to the boil.

Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook the pigeons for a further 40 minutes or until the breasts are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Using tongs or two large spoons, transfer the pigeons to a heated serving dish.

Add the beurre manic to the sauce5 a little at a time, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Pour the sauce over the pigeons, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

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