Stuffed pigeon with apple mostarda, cognac and amaretto

8
1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Stuffed pigeons

  • 4 pigeons
  • game stock, as needed
  • 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp of apple mostarda, finely chopped
  • 50ml of Amaretto, reduced to 25ml
  • 1 egg yolk, or 1 pigeon egg
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 dash of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of cognac
  • 4 slices of lardo, preferably Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad. You can use pancetta if needed
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 5 sage leaves, small
  • salt
  • pepper

To garnish

  • 1 apple
  • 1 peach
  • 1 mango
  • wild strawberries
  • passion fruit

Method

1
To begin, run a blowtorch over the birds to burn off any feathers left on the surface. Wash the birds, dry well and set aside
  • 4 pigeons
2
To make the stuffing, add 100ml of the stock to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until thickened to the consistency of polenta
  • 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs
3
Season with pepper and add the chopped mostarda and reduced amaretto. Add the egg yolk and work the filling for a few minutes using a wooden spoon
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp of apple mostarda, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk, or 1 pigeon egg
  • 50ml of Amaretto, reduced to 25ml
4
Stuff the cavities of the birds with the stuffing and tie the legs together to secure the stuffing inside
5
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
6
Heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the butter. Once foaming, season the pigeons and add to the pan, cooking for at least 3 minutes until browned all over. Once browned, add the rosemary, lemon juice and cognac to the pan
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp of cognac
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 dash of lemon juice
  • salt
7
Cover the pigeons in slices of lardo and sprinkle the various spices and the sage leaves over the birds. Place in the oven for 15 minutes – the lardo will gently melt over the birds as they cook
  • 1 pinch of cloves
  • 4 slices of lardo, preferably Vallée d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad. You can use pancetta if needed
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 5 sage leaves, small
8
Remove the pigeons from the oven and set aside to rest in a warm place. Place the pan used to cook the pigeons over a high heat and add approximately 200ml of stock. Allow to bubble and reduce to a thickened sauce consistency, then pass through a fine sieve
9
Use a melon baller to prepare small spheres of the peach, apple and mango
  • 1 mango
  • 1 apple
  • 1 peach
10
Carve the breasts and legs off of the birds, keeping them attached if possible. Serve with the fruit shapes, passion fruit, wild strawberries and the reduced sauce
  • wild strawberries
  • passion fruit