Roast Pigeon with Braised White Cabbage

A perfect autumn dish from Deca Restaurant: plump roasted pigeon, richly flavoured Madeira sauce and cabbage braised in veal stock
Roast Pigeon with Braised White Cabbage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 pigeons, preferably from Anjou
  • vegetable oil
  • 3 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 clove garlic, 1 sliced, 1 crushed
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 350 ml madeira
  • 1 litres veal stock
  • 4 rashers of smoked bacon, cut into strips
  • 1 small white cabbage, quartered, stalk removed, leaves finely shredded
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.

2. Remove the wing tips from the pigeon and save for the sauce.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a heavy-based wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the wing tips and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.

4. Add the shallots, mushroom, the sliced garlic clove and the thyme sprigs. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the shallots are lightly coloured.

5. Raise the heat and add the Madeira. Simmer briskly until reduced by three quarters.

6. Add 700ml of the veal stock. Bring to the boil then reduce again until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the sauce into a clean pan through a muslin-lined sieve. Set aside and keep warm.

7. While the sauce is reducing, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in an oven-proof frying pan over medium heat. Season the pigeons and fry for about 5 minutes, turning, until browned all over. Transfer to the oven and roast, breast side facing down, for10-12 minutes. Leave to rest in a warm place.

8. Heat another tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based wide saucepan. Add the bacon and fry over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until crisp.

9. Add the crushed garlic clove and the cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

10. Pour in enough veal stock to cover the cabbage. Simmer for 4-5 minutes until soft.

11. Transfer the pigeons to warmed serving plates. Serve with the sauce and the cabbage.

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