Are you game? Pigeon & Cauliflower

I can’t believe how fast time flies. A friend asked me the other day how long I have had my market stall and I said three years. She gave me a look of doubt and thinking about it it must have been 5+ years now! Oops, how did that happen? I am still so happy to wake up every day not having an inbox continuously filled to the brim with urgent emails, long may this continue!

My stall at the market is opposite the butcher and I always keep an eye on new things to try. A photo of my market stall with a wonky backdrop and all. The product base is ever expanding and I have a nice range of seasonal products. This week’s seasonal launch was a Bergamot lemon & sherry vinegar marmalade. The citrus season is just starting and I can’t wait for the blood oranges and the Seville oranges.

heatonomy market stall

Last week the butcher had pigeon breasts. I have never cooked pigeon breasts so I thought why not give them a try. I bought them as a starter/snack. There is a divide in our household as M isn’t keen on any bird smaller than a fully grown chicken so this was a bit of an experiment.

I rummaged through the fridge and found fresh spinach, a cauliflower and sliced pancetta. In the freezer I had some black currants and a dish was coming together in my mind.

Pigeon breast with cauliflower two ways

preparation time 15 minutes

cooking time about 6 – 8 minutes, it depends on the size of the pigeon breast + 10 minutes of resting time

oven 175C or 350F

serves 2 as a starter/snack


  • 4 pigeon breasts
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 8-12 spinach leaves, just wilted
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup red wine
  • butter
  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp miso
  • 8 slices of cauliflower florets
  • a small handful of black currants
  • 1/4 large cauliflower, cut up slightly
  • salt
  • ground white pepper
  • dill & olive oil for a finishing touch

Take the cauliflower slices and brush them lightly with rapeseed oil and sprinkle a little salt on them. Place them on an ovenproof tray lined with grease proof paper and roast until crispy.

Steam the cut up 1/4 cauliflower until completely cooked through. Place it in a blender with a little butter and blend until smooth. Taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.

Trim the pigeon breasts if necessary and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Just wilt the spinach leaves and wrap them around the individual pigeon breasts. Then wrap the pancetta round it and secure it with a toothpick.

Heat some rapeseed oil in a frying pan and brown the pigeon breasts, turn the heat down and let them cook until they are just cooked but still pink, about 3-4 minutes/side, depending on the size. Let the breasts rest, covered for 10 minutes.

In the frying pan add the red wine and reduce by half before adding soy, miso and black currants, cook down a little further and add some butter to thicken the glaze.

Slice the breasts and serve them with the cauliflower puree. Add the crispy cauliflower and garnish with dill, a small sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil.

pancetta and spinach wrapped pigeon breast with cauliflower

I loved the pigeon breast cooked this way but we remained a house divided. M thought it was too “gamey” whilst I thought it was just… well, yummy!

Have you cooked something that divides opinion? And I have to admit I will make it again but will make sure I have dinner guests that are more game on!

I am bringing my game dish to the lovely Angie’s Fiesta Friday! Come and browse, get hungry and inspired here!

6 Responses to “Are you game? Pigeon & Cauliflower”
  1. Shame I don’t like pigeon – it seems to me that everything you cook must be delicious!

  2. I shall give pigeon a try someday.

    • petra08 says:

      I hope you do, the pancetta helped stop it drying out and it was only pan fried pink. Pigeon breasts are so much easier that a whole bird. 🙂

  3. I’ve had pigeons before, though in restaurants they’re called squabs. They taste pretty good, similar to quail or duck. I actually still have quail and pheasants in my freezer courtesy of a friend whose husband often goes hunting. Maybe I can try this with quail. Sounds delish!

    • petra08 says:

      I think it would be delicious with quail! How lucky to get game! M’s nightmare ha ha if you don’t have black currants blackberries works a treat too 🙂 x

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