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Thyme infused Pigeon Breast with Medlar & Red Wine

Course Main Dish
Cuisine British
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Author Fiona Maclean


  • 4 Pigeon breasts Scored two or three times
  • 8-10 Juniper Berries Crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 handful Fresh Thyme


  • 1 stick Celery finely chopped
  • Carrot finely chopped
  • 1 Small Onion or Shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 175 ml Red Wine
  • 175 ml Beef Stock You can substitute chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Medlar Confit (or quince jelly/redcurrant jelly or similar



  1. At least an hour before you plan on cooking, marinade the pigeon breasts in oil, juniper berry and thyme. If you have less than 2 hours, do this at room temperature, if you have more than 2 hours you can place the meat and marinade in the fridge and remove about 30 minutes before you want to cook.


  1. Make the Jus: Gently stew the celery, onion and carrot in oil
  2. After about 5 minutes and once the edges start to caramelise, add the wine
  3. Simmer gently for 15 minutes
  4. Add the stock and cook for a further 15 minutes till the whole mixture is reduced down to about 50%
  5. Pass all the mixture through a fine sieve and return to pan
  6. Add the medlar confit and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can now put this to one side till you are ready to cook the pigeon.


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180c. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy based frying pan
  2. Remove the pigeon from marinade and sear in the frying pan for about 2 minutes on each side, then place in the oven to finish for anything from 5 - 10 minutes depending on how pink you like your game (I personally recommend 5 minutes)

  3. Make up polenta according to the packet direction
  4. Wilt the spinach in the pan you have used to sear the pigeon
  5. Reheat the Jus if necessary and plate.