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How do I cook pigeon breasts?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Annemieke, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Annemieke

    Annemieke Gardener

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    I'm not sure whether this counts as 'edible gardening', but in our garden the pigeons do a lot of eating, so let's reverse the roles for once ....
    I bought (sorry, it was the only way) quite a few frozen pigeon breasts today and want to cook some of them tomorrow. Every website recommends to just fry them for a few minutes on each side. But I generally prefer my meat well done, not half raw. Can I do cook the breasts for longer? And how about marinading? Thanks!
     
  2. Marley Farley

    Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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  3. Annemieke

    Annemieke Gardener

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    Thank you Marley - of course, that recipe is for a whole pigeon which I would have preferred but the butcher had only breasts. Anyway, I am now marinading it which always makes meat better. I think. In too-sour kefir, amongst other things. That reminds me .... does anyone want kefir grains? Marvellous probiotic, I've got plenty to spare. Just ask.
     
  4. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    Pigeon pie!!.............now, that takes me back in time!!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. miraflores

    miraflores Total Gardener

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    Pigeons meat is hard, rubbery and purple. I can only imagine that it will benefit from some marinading.
     
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    • Annemieke

      Annemieke Gardener

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      I've cooked whole pigeons before and they were delicious. The trick seems to be to really give it lots of time, and cook it in some liquidy saucy stuff like tomato etc. Hard and rubbery - no. The colour must have been disguised by the tomato! And doesn't matter.
      Though I have this romantic idea that those pigeons are shot, in a town square or something. Whereas they've probably been fed on corn and kept in cages even?
       
    • Vince

      Vince Not so well known for it.

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      I get my pigeon "straight" from the garden! I remove the breast and pan fry them in garlic butter. the rest of the bird goes to the ferrets.
       
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      • Annemieke

        Annemieke Gardener

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        And how long do you fry them for?
         
      • redstar

        redstar Total Gardener

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        I would marinate them in buttermilk for 3 hours, turning them 1/2 way through. saute gently in butter and olive oil and salt/pepper. Imagine they are not that large, so 10 mins on each side should finish them.
         
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        • Annemieke

          Annemieke Gardener

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          Nice idea. I have no marinated it overnight (in oil, too-sour-to-drink kefir, pepper and salt) and will do as you say - 10 minutes each side. Will let you know the outcome!
           
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          • Annemieke

            Annemieke Gardener

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            I notice that you too use this mix for frying. I always fry in an olive oil/butter mix. Because I once read somewhere it was good to use the combination of both, because then you could let it get hotter without ill effects. Do you think that is true?
             
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            • Clare G

              Clare G Gardener

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              I often use a butter/olive oil mix for frying too. The flavour is good and the hot fat 'spits' less than if you use butter alone, or so my mother taught me. Clarifying the butter before use would also help prevent spitting but is more work!

              I look forward to hearing how you get on with your pigeons, hopefully they will be delicious!
              I think pigeon meat sold in the UK these days is usually from wild wood pigeons. In the past pigeons/ doves were bred as a source of fresh meat in winter, and housed in special dovecotes: Dovecotes of Old England, Wales and Scotland. Years ago I saw inside one of these somewhere down in your part of the world and it was amazing - a tall square building with row upon row of pigeon holes (must be where the term comes from!) ascending. I think though I am not sure that the inhabitants would have been not wood pigeons but something more like a ring dove, or those fancy white fantail domestic pigeons one still occasionally sees in a smaller dovecote. 'Squabs' or young birds were apparently especially tender and delicious.
               
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              • Annemieke

                Annemieke Gardener

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                Well I cooked it in the butter/oil for about 15 minutes. It was nice, I expect that the marinading helped, but next time I will cook it a bit longer for I do like my meat well done. I still got 11 more in the freezer so plenty of chance to try things out!
                 
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                • redstar

                  redstar Total Gardener

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                  Butter in with olive oil, stops the butter from browning or burning. And to me the word "Frying" is a higher temp, than the word Saute. I used the word Saute to indicate it should be a lower temp. Remember not all olive oil is meant for saute also, some only for salads and bread dipping.
                   
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                  • redstar

                    redstar Total Gardener

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                  • Annemieke

                    Annemieke Gardener

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                    Yes I know, I feel a bit guilty about this but always use the nice, cold-pressed stuff and I know I shouldn't. I don't get it too hot though, saute is more the word. For proper frying I have some duck fat saved!
                     
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                    • Vince

                      Vince Not so well known for it.

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                      Not too long, 3 - 4 mins depending on size, remove the lead shot first!
                       
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                      • Scrungee

                        Scrungee Well known for it

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                        When I shot Wood Pigeons before I became vegetarian, I'd only bother with removing the breast meat for making pies. I've taken out 2 during the last week that were going to cause serious problems with my veg, so Dog got the breasts and the local Red Kites got the rest.

                        It's important to remember they can be a pest, and it's only then they can be legally dealt with, and if that happens they might as well provide a tasty meal.
                         
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                          Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
                        • Steve R

                          Steve R Soil Furtler

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                          When I was a chef, saute described more the action and not the temperature.

                          Most, if not all will have seen a saute action, the pan handle is lifted so the food collects at the far edge of the pan, with a push forward and lift up motion the pan contents are flipped, turned and mixed to promote even cooking, colouring etc.

                          I would fry an egg and saute a pan full of chicken or veg, I would adjust temperature to suit the food being cooked, pan type and ferocity of the burners/elements etc

                          Oils/Fats all have different "smoke" points, butter has a low smoke point hence adding oil which has a higher smoke point to allow higher cooking temps.

                          Personally, if I wanted to cook something in butter at a high heat I would want to retain that buttery flavour and not add an olive oil taste, I would add rapeseed oil instead which has a very high smoke point and is pretty much tasteless, retaining that delicious butteryness that you wanted from the get go.

                          Steve...:)
                           
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                          • Mowerman

                            Mowerman Gardener

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                            Agreed :dbgrtmb:. Buttermilk tenderizes the meat, so when fried, it will be a lot less chewy, especially as it's been frozen.

                            Another alernative is to blend mango, papaya and pineapple together, coat meat and leave in fride overnight. The marinade alone doesn't taste of much...infact anything TBH... but can be pimped up to your taste with whatever herbs or spices you like (or just simply washed off). It tenderizes meat like a slow cooker does (not joints though!) without any loss of the meat juices :Wino:
                             
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