Ingredients FOR 4 PEOPLE
- 4 cleaned and gutted whole pigeons
- 160 g of thinly sliced shallots
- 60 g pine nuts
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 80 g of raisins
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 6 sprigs of fresh mint
- 250 ml + 8 spoons of balsamic vinegar
- 150 ml merlot or other quality red wine
- 2 teaspoons of natural brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil + extra to massage the pigeons
- Salt and pepper
The day before cooking, season and massage the pigeons with salt and pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil.
Place them in a bowl and pour the 250 ml of balsamic vinegar over them.
Put the raisins in a separate bowl and cover with hot water.
When the water has cooled, cover and put in the refrigerator.
Keep the pigeons covered in the refrigerator. Turning them from time to time in the liquid so that they marinate equally.
On the day you want to cook the pigeons, pour the extra virgin olive oil into a pan (large enough to hold the 4 pigeons) and brown the thinly sliced shallots together with the pine nuts in the oil over medium heat until they are the pine nuts are golden brown and the shallots are soft.
Now add the crushed garlic, rosemary and mint. Drain the raisins from the water and add them to the pan. Simmer for 2-3 minutes to let all the flavors mix.
Add the spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar and the wine. Then add the brown sugar and simmer for 10 minutes or until the balsamic vinegar has lost most of its pungent smell and the liquid has partially reduced.
In the meantime, drain the pigeons from the liquid and place them on an oven rack placed over top of a dripping pan.
Heat the grill and when hot bake the pigeons. Cook them under the grill until a good maillard reaction is achieved on both sides.
At the same time, turn the heat back on the pan bring the shallot and balsamic mixture to a boil.
Remove the pigeons from the oven and add them to the mixture cooking in the pan then cover with lid for 5 minutes over medium heat – or until the pigeons are completely cooked and the mixture of raisins, pine nuts and shallots is well caramelized.
To be certain the pigeon has been cooked through you can make a deep cut on the thickest part of the flesh of the breast.
Serve the pigeons whole or pre portioned with the caramelized shallot, raisins, pine nuts and aromatic herbs.