We now have early pigeon in the shop, they are plump from feeding in the fields on corn and other cereal crops. Pigeons are a meaty bird with a distinctive gamey flavour and rich, coloured meat. The young birds are the best for roasting or pan frying as they have tender meat. It is later in the season that the older birds become tougher with a stronger flavour and these are better by braising or in a casserole.

This recipe will make a very tasty lunch or  healthy dinner. This is an easy dish to prepare and can be easily adapted for different dishes

Ingredients for Pan Fried Pigeon Breast

Pigeon from Morley Butchers – (Remove breasts 2 per person)

Vegetable oil


Sea salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning

Cooking tips for Pan Fried Pigeon Breast

If you want to add some extra flavours the pigeon breasts can be marinated for 24 hours before cooking. Try in red wine, olive oil, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, shallots and some chopped garlic.

Season both sides of the pigeon breasts with sea salt and a little pepper

Next heat a small splash of vegetable oil (1 tablespoon) in heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium-high heat

Once the pan is hot (just as the oil starts to smoke), add the pigeon breasts skin-side down and cook until golden brown – this will take 2–3 minutes each side. If you like a pink middle don’t leave too long in the pan – the pigeon breast will continue to cook while resting

Add a knob of butter and use it to  baste the breasts once it has melted

Remove the breasts from the pan and leave to rest for approximately 5 minutes

If you prefer the meat well-done transfer to the oven for a few minutes longer to cook through. They will be well done when prodded with a fork the juices run clear.

Serving Suggestions For Pan Fried Pigeon Breast

Serve with game chips (thinly sliced deep-fried potatoes) and roast root vegetables or with garlic mash and stir-fried savoy cabbage.

You can see more on the different seasons for game here on our website