Ben’s Balsamic Pigeon Breast & Smoky Bacon

Ben is really brave at just winging it, based on an idea, with no recipe whatsoever… and then having a really delicious meal turn out on the other end. He did just that with this dish, back when we used to work in the pub kitchen. He rustled this one up on an idea he had in his head and it was a special on the menu.

So the other day we happened upon some pigeon breasts and I said ‘let’s have that meal that you used to make at the pub for dinner tonight’. And just like that he conjured it up out of his memory from 4 years ago! It’s great having a Ben around!

Ingredients: serves 2-3

6 pigeon breasts

1 pack (6 rashers) rind on smoked streaky bacon

Salt and Pepper

6 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

We served it with:

Basmati brown & Wild Rice Blend & Mixed leaf salad. But it could also be served with crushed potatoes and green veg or Quinoa and roasted vegetables or why not be creative and tell me what yours accompanied?


1. Lay the pigeon breasts out and season well on all sides.

2. Cut the rind from the bacon rashers. Put the rind into a dry frying pan over a medium heat and render, until nearly back and most of the juice and fat have cooked out. It doesn’t matter if they burn a little, we won’t be eating the rind, just getting the flavour out of it. Remove the rind pieces from the pan once it’s rendered. If you have managed to avoid burning them you can eat these as crispy bacon bits! Otherwise discard. Pre heat oven to 180oC.

3. Add the pigeon breasts to the bacon fat/juice and seal for a minute on each side.

4. Add into the pan the balsamic vinegar. It will reduce very rapidly so constantly turn the pigeon and shake the pan so it doesn’t stick. When the balsamic is at the point of sticking and ‘treacle like’ remove from the heat. Roll the pigeon in the sauce so it’s well covered and remove from the pan. Wrap each balsamic pigeon breast in a rasher of smoked bacon, and lay on an oven proof tray.

5. Once the pigeon is out, return the pan to the heat with a little water to deglaze. Pour the resulting liquid oven the top of the bacon parcels and then put the tray in the oven for 10- 15 minutes, or until the bacon looks cooked.

6. Slice and serve with your favourite side!

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