This Pigeon Recipe is Giorgio Locatelli from Made at Home.
I love pigeon. It reminds me of autumn at home in Lombardy when the hunters would be out in the woods shooting game. Lentils and radicchio done in this way are also good with cotechino, the fat pork sausage that is traditional for New Year’s Eve and needs to be simmered for around two hours before slicing and serving on top of the lentils.
This is one of the ‘lucky dishes’ that so many cultures have: it is said that if you start the new year with a dish of lentils which are shaped like coins, it will bring you good fortune. The lentils we use are the ones from Castelluccio, in Umbria, which are small and brown and less starchy than some varieties, so although they become beautifully tender, they hold their shape well. If you can’t find them, you can use Puy lentils.
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 1 carrot, finely chopped
– 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
– 600g Castelluccio Ientils, or other small brown lentils, such as Puy
– 2 litres of good chicken stock
– Bouquet garni, 1 made with 1bay leaf, 5 sage leaves, 1sprig of fresh rosemary and 1 clove of garlic tied inside a piece of muslin
– 1 head chioggia radicchio
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 6 squab pigions, oven-ready
– 200g butter
– Fresh sage leaves a handful
– Fresh flat leaf parsley a small bunch, leaves only
– 1 garlic clove
1. Preheat the oven to 180″0/gas 4.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
3. Add the chopped vegetables and cook gently until just soft, then add the lentils and stir around for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the stock and the bouquet garni, bring to the boil, then tum down to a simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add the radicchio and cook for another 3 minutes, then turn off the heat, taste and season.
5. hile the lentils are cooking. season the pigeons inside and out, put into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for 15-20minutes, until the skin is golden and the juices run clear if you insert a skewer into the thighs.
6. Lift out of the oven, remove the string. and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
7. For the garnish, heat half the butter in a saute pan until it starts to turn slightly brown, put in the sage leaves and toss in the butter until crispy.
8. Lift out and drain on kitchen paper.
9. Put the garlic clove on a chopping board and, with the back of a large knife, crush into a paste.
10. Put the parsley leaves on the top and chop finely, so that the garlio and parsley combine and release their flavours into each other, then stir into the lentils along with the rest of the butter.
11. Transfer to a warmed serving dish.
12. Carve the breasts and legs from each pigeon and arrange on top, then scatter with the sage leaves.
With recipes that reflect the places he calls home, from Northern Italy to North London or the holiday house he and his wife Plaxy have found in Puglia, Made at Home is a celebration of Giorgio’s favourite dishes.
From Tuscan tomato and bread soup to monkfish stew, simple spaghettis or lemon and pistachio polenta cake, Made at Home is a colourful collection of the food that Giorgio Locatelli loves to prepare for family and friends.