Prep time 15 minutes
Ingredients For Pigeon
4 Pigeons of 300 grams each, ideally woodpigeon or squab
Offal reserved for later use in the chou farci
Ingredients For Brine Solution
500 ml drinking water
2 black tea bags
1 garlic clove
Ingredients For Mediterranean Style Red Cabbage ‘Kimchi’
750g red cabbage, finely sliced
50g fine table salt
50g finely grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, crushed
8 tbsp filtered tap water
4 tbsp Espelette chilli pepper/ Felfel
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
8 leaves basil
Ingredients For Green Peppercorn Sauce
30g green peppercorns in brine
200ml demis glace or stock
40ml good quality red wine/port
10 grams butter
5ml sherry vinegar
Ingredients For Chou Farci of Pigeon Offal
Pigeon livers, hearts & kidneys
100gr chicken breast
1 egg white
100ml fresh cream
3 Juniper berries
20g grated Parmesan
120g cleaned spinach leaves
1 sprig thyme, picked
Ingredients For Confit Leg and Foie Gras Herb Tart
Confit of Leg
All the legs from the pigeons, yields 120grams of meat
1 clove garlic
2 sprigs thyme
90gr foie gras
300ml duck fat or good quality sunflower oil
100ml brown chicken stock
30ml port wine
Ingredients For the Tart Shell
60gr cold water
Chopped thyme & rosemary from 2 sprigs each.
1 tsp salt
Ingredients For Local Turnips
2 medium size turnips
200ml water or chicken stock
1 lemon verbena
10ml extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients For Preserved Berries
80g fresh cherries or any other berries available
10g black berries
100ml Banyuls wine or port
½ vanilla pod
Ingredients For Toasted Grains & Aromatic Spices
1 tbsp puffed farro
1 tbsp puffed quinoa
1 tbsp puffed amaranth
1 tbsp puffed millet
½ tsp aniseed powder
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried lavender
Method For the Brine Solution
Put the water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the stove, add the tea bags, bay leaves and garlic, and let them steep for 8 minutes. Remove the tea bags, and add the salt and sugar to the hot water, stirring until dissolved. Pour the brine into a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
Once completely cooled, submerge the pigeons in the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Once the time has elapsed submerge the pigeons in an ice bath to rinse away any impurities. Remove and pat dry. Transfer back to the fridge and leave, uncovered for 12 hours.
Method For the Red Cabbage
Add the red cabbage to a large mixing bowl and scatter over fine table salt. Use your hands to massage the salt firmly into the cabbage, bruising the flesh and pressing it all together. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave for 2 hours to allow the salt to draw out the moisture. After 2 hours, tip into a colander, rinse well under cold running water and drain thoroughly.
Rinse out the mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients, obtaining a pungent paste. Add the rinsed cabbage back in and mix thoroughly. Spoon into a sterilised jar packing down firmly. The top should be submerged in liquid. Tear off a piece of clingfilm and press it tightly down onto the surface to keep out as much air as possible then cover tightly with the lid. Leave to ferment at room temperature for 3-7 days.
Check the fermenting cabbage every day, pressing the cabbage back under the surface liquid and replacing the clingfilm with a new piece. Start tasting after 3 days when it should be pleasantly sour.
Method For the Green Peppercorn Sauce
Reduce the red wine and add the stock or demi-glace, reducing further if using stock. Finish with vinegar and butter and season to taste.
Method For the Chou Farci of Pigeon Offal
Place the offal in the milk overnight to remove any sourness and impurities. Remove from the milk and rinse in cold water. Blend the chicken breast and offal with egg white and add the grated cheese, juniper berries and thyme. Gradually add the fresh cream and season with salt. Prepare 4 layers of cling film and cut into circles of 8cm in diameter. Place some of the filling in the middle and shape it into a round ball and secure. Poach in hot water for 5 minutes and then transfer to an ice bath. Prepare some more cling film, place the spinach leaves and the cooked stuffing in the middle. Use the clingfilm to wrap the spinach leaves around farce ball and secure. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Method For the Confit Leg and Foie Gras Herb Tart
Remove legs from pigeon carcass, place them in a baking dish that fits them snuggly and submerge them in the oil or fat. Cook at 90 degrees C for 2 hours. Once cooked remove all the cooked pigeon meat. Finely chop the shallot, pumpkin and garlic. Cook on a medium to low heat with the thyme for 10 minutes. Add the stock and port and gradually reduce. Add the pulled pigeon meat and put aside until needed.
For the tart shell knead the butter and flour with a k beater attachment for 5 minutes. Gradually add the water together with the salt and chopped herbs. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest for a minimum of 1 hour.
Use small tart moulds of approximately 4cm in diameter. Roll out the dough to a 1cm thickness and line the moulds, trimming the edges. Bake at 180 degrees C for 6 to 8 minutes. Reserve until needed.
To prepare the foie gras, temper it to room temperature and slice it in half. Remove the veins from the middle. Wrap each half in cling film and roll into a cylinder shape, the same diameter of the tart. Poach each cylinder for 7mins at 60 degrees C. Chill in iced water and when firm slice into rounds removing the clingfilm after doing so.
Method For For Local Turnips
Trim turnips from the outer skin. Slice into 2cm thick discs, then cut through with a round cutter of 4cm diameter. Boil in the water with the lemon and the lemon verbena for about 8 minutes depending on the turnips. Once cooked, drizzle with the oil and season with salt.
Method For the preserved Berries
Method: Bring the water & wine to the boil and add the vanilla pod, thyme, sugar and set aside. Once cooled, refrigerate. Add the fruit and keep refrigerated till needed.
Method For Toasted Grains & Aromatic Spices
Method: The above may all be purchased ready puffed from health shops. Toast all the grains and seeds. Separately toast the spices. Combine everything.