Pigeon with juniper sauce and crispy salad

Radish and turnip provide a delicious crunchy contrast to meltingly tender pigeon breasts in Oliver Rowes elegant starter
By Oliver Rowe
Pigeon with juniper sauce and crispy salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2 as a starter or 1 as a main course
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped juniper berries, plus 2 extra whole berries
  • olive oil, for basting
  • 2 pigeon breasts
  • 1 rashers bacon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 100 ml thick chicken stock
  • perry, to moisten (see Cooks notes below)

For the crispy salad

  • 6 cm mooli (white radish)
  • 1 small baby turnip, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 handfuls flat leaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil, for vinaigrette
  • white wine vinegar, for vinaigrette

Tips and Suggestions

Mooli is a long white radish, about the size of a parsnip, also known as daikon. It has a crunchy texture and peppery flavour similar to red radishes, but milder.
Perry is an alcoholic drink, usually sparkling, made by fermenting the juice of pears specifically grown for the purpose: smaller and sourer than pears intended for eating.


1. In a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with the 2 whole juniper berries. Rub a little olive oil over the pigeon breasts, then rub in the garlic/juniper mixture and leave to marinade overnight.

2. Heat a heavy-based saucepan and cook the bacon until slightly coloured. Stir in the onions and the finely chopped juniper berries and cook until the onions are soft and cooked through.

3. Pour in a good dash of perry to the pan and let the alcohol cook off. Add the chicken stock and cook until heated through.

4. Heat a griddle pan until hot and cook the pigeon breasts, skin side down, for 2 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook for a further 2 minutes. The flesh should still be rare on the inside. Remove the pigeon from the pan and leave to rest for 1 minute.

5. For the crispy salad: combine the finely sliced mooli and turnip in a bowl with the parsley.

6. Crush the garlic with a little salt and whisk in enough oil and vinegar to make a vinaigrette dressing to your desired consistency and flavour. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette.

7. To serve, put the salad on a plate, slice the pigeon thickly, arrange on top of the salad and spoon over the juniper sauce.

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