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smoked wood pigeon salad.

with all the hot weather we're having (well a bit hit and miss this last week) i've been trying to think of recipes which are quite light but still satisfy my appetite. this hasn't always been successful as i love a hearty evening meal and have lately been eating things like fragrant but healthy curries and seafood pasta dishes. 

when i had my field&flower produce delivery, for which i'll be writing a round up post on soon, i decided to be a bit daring and try out cooking with wood pigeon. a mix of the deep but smokey game flavours, salty lardons, bitter walnuts and fresh salad i actually felt full up. this is one of my most adventurous recipes to date so i hope you enjoy!

shopping list
(serves two)
♥ four wood pigeon breasts
♥ one iceberg lettuce, chopped 
♥ 150g lardons
♥ two garlic cloves, chopped
♥ a handful of thyme
♥ handful of crushed walnuts

for the salad dressing

♥ two tbsp red wine vinegar 
♥ two tbsp walnut oil
♥ two tsp dijon mustard

for tea smoking
♥ lots of tin foil - to cover a wok three times
♥ one teabag of tea leaves
♥ two tbsp rice
♥ two tbsp olive oil

for the tea smoking, begin by laying tin foil in a wok or saucepan. you then make another layer of foil and place the mix of tea and rice on top. be generous and let the excess foil drape over the edge.

you then lay another layer of foil over this. again be generous and drape over the edge so you can roll it back on itself to seal. 
on this layer, you add the olive oil, wood pigeon breasts, garlic and thyme. scrunch the edges together to seal and leave no gaps. i then put the wok lid on too and left on a medium heat to smoke for 5-10 minutes whilst i cooked the lardons - hope the wok in the corner of the picture shows what i mean. in hindsight, i probably overcooked the wood pigeon as you can eat it rare and i do like meat. any tips on this?

you can now make the salad dressing by mixing together the walnut oil, red wine vinegar and dijon mustard. every game + salad recipe i looked up in my research used red wine vinegar and every walnut salad recipe recommended walnut oil to enhance the flavour. walnut oil apparently has a short shelf life once opened though so now i need to use it up quick on other salad ventures!

scatter the lardons throughout the lettuce leaves and toss in your salad dressing.

you then bring out the wood pigeon and slice carefully into delicate bite size pieces.


you then discard the thyme and serve up on top of the salad with the crushed walnuts.

there you have it! i would say it only takes around 15 minutes too - just sourcing the ingredients is the tricky part. what do you think? do you have any game salad recipes?


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