Grilled Pigeon Breast

Oliver Rowe serves a feast of marinated pigeon breasts with a salad of asparagus and spring onions, and a caramelised red wine vinaigrette
Grilled Pigeon Breast
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hr to marinate
  • Effort: medium


For the pigeon breast

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 pigeon breasts
  • 8 juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 8 fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 75 ml red wine
  • 2 pinches black pepper

For the red wine vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp water
  • 75 ml red wine
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil

To serve

  • 4 stems asparagus, blanched
  • 4 spring onions, blanched
  • chickweed, wild rocket and oak leaf lettuce


1. First, marinate the pigeon breasts. Finely slice the garlic and toss with the pigeon breasts and all the other ingredients. Cover and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.

2. For the vinaigrette, heat the sugar and water in a clean saucepan without stirring until the sugar melts and starts to caramelise. After about 3-4 minutes, when it has turned the colour of whisky, pour in the red wine. Be careful at this stage, it might spit and the caramel will be very hot.

3. Add the juniper berries and reduce the liquid for a further 2-3 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat and whisk in the rapeseed oil.

4. To cook the pigeon, fry the marinated breasts in a griddle pan for 2 minutes on each side and leave to rest for 4-5 minutes.

5. Place the blanched asparagus and spring onions on the griddle for 30 seconds on each side to colour.

6. Dress the leaf salad with a tablespoon of oil and place on a plate. Arrange the spring onions, asparagus and sliced pigeon breast on top. Drizzle the red wine vinaigrette over the pigeon and salad. Serve.

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