76 COUNTRY KITCHEN
Jane Price adds a French style to our beloved woodpigeon
Jane Price goes Gallic in the kitchen with a classic French dish - and a Spanish twist
Recently, I was chatting to my fabulous French friend, Cecile, about cooking pigeon and she said in France a popular meal is Pigeon Petit-Pois, which in case you need me to translate is pigeon with peas. Talking of translations she also told me a funny story from when she first moved to the UK and went to do her weekly shop in an English supermarket for the first time. Needing some ingredients for a soup recipe she tried out her English on a shop assistant, explaining that she was looking for little pieces of bread that had been fried and would be eaten with soup. The assistant took a moment, and then said, “Oh, you mean croutons!” Classic. We all have a few French words in our vocabulary but our French friends wouldn’t know which ones.
It’s great that we can include influences from other parts of Europe in our food and having such a good friend as Cecile in my life makes me appreciate the influence of European and other cultures in our society. It’s our differences that make our friendship fun and I love Cecile for her great sense of humour.
As the wife of a hunter, I do cook and eat
pigeon on a regular basis and sometimes it’s not easy to think of something new, so it’s good to have another recipe to add to my repertoire – there I go with the French again! This recipe only takes a few minutes to cook and uses a few simple ingredients – although at time of writing there is a lettuce shortage due to bad weather in Spain, so perhaps this isn’t the ideal time to offer this particular recipe!
I have adapted this dish from the French version, by adding a Spanish twist - chorizo instead of lardons, which is personal choice and adds a spicy edge to the dish, which I think works very well. I have also added the wine to help steam the lettuce, and knowing Cecile as I do, she would definitely approve of that.
Woodpigeon with added ooh-la-la