Pigeon or Teal Breast in a Red Wine Sauce

Serves 2 as a nice starter.


  • 2 fresh pigeon or teal.
  • 1 small onion cut in half.
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs.
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and left whole.
  • Olive oil.
  • Butter.
  • Tsp of vegetable bouillon.
  • Sea salt.

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Firstly prepare the birds.

  1. Remove the breast meat from each bird with a sharp knife to make four nice fillets and put to one side, then clean and trim up the two carcasses and remove the skin.
  2. Stuff each carcass with half of the onion, a garlic clove and half of the thyme sprig.
  3. Place the carcasses in a tray lined with tin foil, pour over a little olive oil and wrap them up in the foil, then roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.

Next make the sauce:

  1. Take a medium saucepan and pour in about half a bottle of red wine.
  2. Add half a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder.
  3. When the carcasses are roasted, remove from oven and add all of the contents of the foil package including the juices to the wine in the sauce pan.
  4. Simmer this for about half an hour till the wine has reduced by about half.

To cook the breast meat:

  1. Get a frying pan nice and hot, then add a good knob of butter.
  2. Add the breasts to the pan and cook on each side for 30 seconds.
  3. When cooked, remove from the frying pan and put to one side to rest.
  4. Pour the red wine mixture through a sieve into the hot frying pan and reduce the sauce to a thick consistency.

Prepare to serve:

  1. Take a very sharp knife and slice the breast meat into thin wafers – they should be nice and rare in the centre!
  2. Add the breast meat to the thickened sauce and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Season if you want.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture rest for about a minute.
  5. Serve on hot toast (cut into a circle with a tea cup) garnished with fresh rocket. 

Courtesy of  Dave Hewson, 2004.