Succulent and flavourful, Pigeons a la Normande (pee-john ah lah nor-mahnd) is a tasty dish from Normandy in France. Serve with Duchess Potatoes and Carottes Vichy.
4 pigeons, oven-ready
4 oz. butter
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
4 medium-sized carrots, scraped and finely diced
4 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 slices lean bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 pint beef stock
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
16 fl. oz. dry cider
1 tablespoon butter cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rings
4 slices streaky bacon
Pigeons with Orange and Wine Sauce makes an impressive dinner party dish. The pigeons contain a delicate orange-flavoured stuffing.
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
Place the pigeons on a board. Using a sharp knife cut them through the breast-bone and backbone. Cut away the back-bone with kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and discard it. Set aside.
In a large frying-pan melt 1 ounce of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions, carrots, apples and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to an 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.
Sprinkle the flour into the frying-pan and stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Stir in the salt, pepper and cider. Return the pan to moderate heat and bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the pigeons in 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.
Preheat the grill to high.
Meanwhile prepare the garnish. In a small frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the apple rings and fry them, turning them once, for 3 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the apple rings and drain them on kitchen paper towels.
Place the bacon on a board and cut each slice in half. Roll up each piece and place the rolls on the grill rack. Grill them, turning them once, for 4 minutes or until they are crisp. Remove the bacon rolls from under the grill and set aside.
Remove the casserole from the oven. Arrange the pigeons on a heated serving dish and pour a little of the sauce over them.
Pour the remaining sauce into a sauceboat.
Garnish the pigeons with the apple rings and bacon rolls and serve im-mediately, with the sauce.