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18 responses to “Roast Pigeon”

  1. Andy Minshull

    Hi from England. We do like pigeon over here; or at least some of us do, there are a lot of people who won’t eat ‘game’ of any kind. Just means there’s more for us fans! Have eaten pigeon many times as well as venison, rabbit and duck. All purchased as the hunting fraternity is much smaller over here. My next purchase will be squirrel, there are a couple of sites offering these for sale. I will be using them in the excellent Spanish sauce recipe from your site. Thanks for a really interesting site from an armchair hunter.

  2. John Fisher

    We always eat pigeon whenever we’re in the UK – at least once or twice every year – and would love to find a source here in the US. Not a viable game bird here in Minnesota, but are there sources to purchase?

  3. Janine

    For a real treat, try pigeon breast just seared, served on wilted spinach…I promise you it’s heaven on a plate! I’ve made the classic pigeon pie with rough-puff pastry too, that’s always a winner, but never tried roasting the whole bird. Thanks to you Hank, I’ll give it a try now!

  4. Jack Lea Mason

    Pigeon looks like it would be perfect for a rotisserie as well. It may have similar effect as the blow torch attachment and you could do barn load of birds at the same time.

  5. James Cogan

    Pigeon is a staple here is Somerset, UK. Free from most of the shoots, or had in the garden with an air rifle. Diana Henry does a lovely recipe in her book food from plenty. I did your German stew with squirrel rather than rabbit a few weeks ago, pretty good.

  6. Mad Dog

    Definitely! I like pigeon nearly as much as I like pheasant 🙂

  7. Jack

    More greetings from the UK! The shooters I know ‘breast out’ pigeon and eat these fillets only. Restaurants usually offer breast meat only. There is a general perception that the rest of the bird is too difficult to pluck and too fiddly to eat. Pigeons are also highly rated as a sporting challenge because of their speed and agility. A very experienced Scottish gamekeeper told me that he rates pigeon more highly than red grouse. Our best gameshot, George Digweed, killed about 650 wild pigeon in one session. They can descend on a grain crop like locusts and farmers are pleased to have them shot or scared off. I saw a flock of pigeon on wheat last year that must have been a thousand strong. And it is a bird that can be shot under the ‘general licence’ whereas most birds are protected by wildlife conservation laws.

  8. darren

    Ha! my dove MOJO spinners were bringing in pigeon like mad this year, and man were they fun to hunt. I found a spot they move between the sheep feeding troughs and water source. i also hunted a field of safflower and mullen and they were eating right along all the dove. my freezer is full of dove and pigeon from September, so this recipe just got printed and saved!! Thanks!

  9. Nicole Novak

    This morning Hubby was marching out the door to go pigeon hunting. I said WHAT DO I DO to get ready for this bounty? He said “Ask Hank”. You have officially arrived. 😉

    What do I find? — right up front, a pigeon article and recipe, by golly.

    Happy Holidays, Hank and Holly!


  10. Nicole Novak

    Jeffrey came home with band-tail pigeons full of acorns. A friend had them last night and said that they were bitter because of the acorns. He asked me to query you about a solution for bitterness. We aren’t having them tonight anyway because they need to drain a bit. These were taken from a ranch in Marin.


  11. Mike Spies

    Hank, thanks for publishing this recipe and commentary. I shoot barn pigeons a couple times a year and will try your preparation next time i have a bag of pigeons.

    Happy New Year!

  12. William Hines

    Hey John from Minnesota, I’m thinking you might have Eurasian Collared Doves out there. They are an invasive species and often have no season or bag limit! (Hunt birds all year anyone?) They are bigger than Mourning Doves and just as good.
    I would imagine they might fit the bill for this recipe?


  13. curt

    The idea that “City Pigeons” are different than any other pigeon is pretty silly. Do you think the same bird stays in town its whole life? Birds fly all over the place, thats been proven over and over. Once more, pigeons are not the dirty animal everyone thinks they are. They eat the same thing any other bird does, unless they are starving. Ive eaten city pigeons quite often and found them to be every bit as tasty as any bird harvested in the wild.

  14. Joan Long.

    Hi,I am from North Devon, England.I would like to cook pigeon. Can it be cooked as I cook Quail, which is to pan fry the legs and breasts in butter for a few minutes then into a hot oven for about 6 minutes.

  15. Christopher Croom

    Yep, band-tailed pigeons DO get bitter after eating a solely elderberry and acorn diet (both loaded with tannins), especially here in Southern California! I solve the problem by braising them in wine, chicken broth, and herbs before discarding the braising liquid and taking the now-tender meat off their bodies and incorporating it in a cassoulet, a jambalaya, or this recipe when I get enough:

    Don’t waste those band-taileds!

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