Wood pigeon with morcilla and sage salad

Wood pigeon with morcilla and sage salad

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
30g raisins
2 tablespoons sherry
1/2 shallot
100g mixed salad leaves, including lamb’s lettuce
sage sprigs
2 wood pigeons
100g morcilla sausage
100 g piece pancetta
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 quantity Croûtons, using sage variation
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak the raisins in the sherry. Peel and finely dice the shallot. Wash, dry and pick over the salad leaves and place in a bowl. Chiffonade enough sage leaves to give you 1 tablespoon and set aside. Heat the oven to 120°C.
  2. Remove the breasts from the pigeons, keeping the skin intact. Cut the morcilla into thick slices. Derind the pancetta and cut into lardons.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over a low to medium heat and fry the morcilla for 5–8 minutes, turning them, until cooked. Remove to a plate and keep warm in the low oven. Wipe out the pan, add another ½ tablespoon olive oil and fry the lardons until golden. Transfer to a plate; keep warm in the oven.
  4. Season the pigeon breasts, add to the frying pan skin side down and cook for 3–4 minutes, then turn and cook for 2–3 minutes on the other side; the meat should be pink and the fibres set. Remove and set aside to rest.
  5. Sauté the shallot in the frying pan for a few minutes to soften, then add the remaining 2–3 tablespoons olive oil to the pan with the sherry vinegar, raisins and sherry, sage and lardons. Warm through, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour enough warmed dressing over the salad leaves to coat the leaves evenly, tossing to mix. Add the croûtons and divide the salad between 4 plates. Slice each pigeon breast into 3 or 4 slices and divide between the plates. Crumble the morcilla over the salad and drizzle over any remaining dressing.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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