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Pigeon Breasts with Mustard Mash and Green Lentils

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Pigeon is quickly pan seared and served on mounds of mashed potato and a bed of le Puy green lentils

Pigeon is quickly pan seared and served on mounds of mashed potato and a bed of le Puy green lentils

Introduction to Eating Pigeon

Pigeon is a fairly popular game meat, often roasted whole. It is very important to note, however, that the game pigeons which are eaten are wood pigeons and not the scavenging birds found on city streets, which would be most unpleasant if not actually dangerous to eat, given what they themselves are likely to have consumed. In this instance, it is only the breast fillets of the pigeon - purchased vacuum packed from a licensed wild game supplier - which have been prepared. Do be careful, however, even if purchasing fillets like this of leadshot which may still remain in the flesh and can do serious damage to your dental work!

List of Ingredients

Fresh pigeon breasts

Fresh pigeon breasts

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

Two servings


  • 4 pigeon breast fillets
  • 6oz le Puy green lentils
  • 1 fresh garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 2 medium sized floury/starchy potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp coriander/cilantro to garnish, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. The chopped potatoes should be added to a deep pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water up to a boil and simmer for twenty-five minutes to half an hour, until the potatoes are soft.
  2. Bring a dry frying pan up to a high heat and add the cumin seeds to toast. This gives them a far more aromatic flavour than simply using pre-ground cumin. Shake the pan every thirty seconds or so. They will only take a couple of minutes and you will smell when they are ready. Be sure not to burn them.
  3. Grind the cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar.
  4. Wash the lentils in a sieve under running cold water and add them to a pot with the garlic and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Add just enough cold water to cover. Bring the water to a simmer, put the lid on the pot and cook for thirty minutes.
  5. When the potatoes and lentils are about half way done, drizzle some vegetable oil in a large frying pan and bring it up to a high heat.
  6. Season the pigeon with salt and pepper on both sides and lay in the pan. Fry for two minutes each side. Remember that it should always be ever so slightly underdone and pink in the centre or it will be tough and dry.
  7. Remove the pigeon fillets to a heated plate and cover with tinfoil to rest for about five to ten minutes.
  8. Drain the potatoes and return to the empty pot. Let them steam for a couple of minutes. Mash with a hand masher before stirring through the Dijon mustard.

Are You a Fan of Wild Game?

Wild game of so many types is a joy to eat but it can be expensive and knowing how to cook it properly becomes even more important as a result. That is where the book featured to the right becomes indispensable for the wild game home cook. From cleaning and dressing the game, to cooking and serving it, this book covers it all in relation to a wide range of species from different geographical areas.

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  1. Divide the lentils between two serving plates and flatten in to a serving bed.
  2. Use two tablespoons to shape the mash in to egg shaped mounds and lay two on each plate.
  3. The pigeon should carefully be laid on top of the potato mounds.
  4. Scatter the coriander leaf/cilantro over the top to garnish and serve.

How would you rate this pigeon recipe?


Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 12, 2012:

Thank you, collegedad. I hope you get the chance to taste pigeon soon. Try an Internet search for providers and hopefully you'll find a supplier in your area.

Gordon Hamilton (author) from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 12, 2012:

Hi, Rebecca. Pigeon is probably not a widely popular choice but it is very good to eat. It tastes very different from chicken but yes, there is no reason why chicken could not be substituted in this instance. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

collegedad from The Upper Peninsula on June 12, 2012:

I've always wondered what pigeon would taste like. Here in the US you don't see it offered. This looks like a wonderful way to experience squab. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 11, 2012:

I don't know! I have never known anyone that ate pigeon that I know of. But I love lentils. Can I substitute chicken for this recipe?

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