Wood Pigeon Salad

Preparation time: 
min -
Published on
October 28, 2019

In the UK, shooting season has started, which means game is plentiful. I urge everyone to include more of this affordable and nutritious meat in their diet. These animals are naturally free range and full of flavour.

Many birds are shot, but their meat is wasted. Head to a farmers market or ask around for a direct source — they're generally delighted to give away the meat for a few bob, or even for free.

This salad relies on good ingredients. The sharp, mustardy vinaigrette cuts through the rich and nutty taste of the wood pigeon, bacon and walnuts. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this salad — each morsel is complex and refined.






    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
    2. In a baking tray, add the walnuts, butter and a pinch of salt. Put it in the oven for a minutes to melt the butter. Toss the walnuts in the butter and allow to toast for a further 7-10 minutes, until nicely golden. Keep a close eye as the walnuts can burn very easily. Once toasted, set aside.
    3. Over a medium heat, fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan, until the fat has rendered out and they're crisp. Reserving the fat in the pan, remove the bacon lardons and set aside.
    4. Place the frying pan back on the hob and turn the heat up to high. Season the pigeon breasts with salt and pepper and place in the searing hot bacon fat. To cook them blushing pick, fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes until golden — you may like to cook them longer if you like medium- well done. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.
    5. Assemble the salad leaves between four plates. Place bacon lardons, walnuts and pigeon breasts on top of the leaves and drizzle with a sharp and peppery french vinaigrette.

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