Chef Taster: Jubilee Pigeon


Jubilee Pigeon

by Daniel Ayton of 51 Buckingham Gate & Chefbytes

Crostini of wood pigeon with new season asparagus, beetroot and feta salad


•1 whole pigeon
• 6 baby beetroot with leaves
• 60g feta
• 6 tips new season asparagus
• 6 halves sun blushedcherry tomatoes
• 1 slice bread
• Olive oil
• Butter
• Milk
• Seasoning
• Honey mustard dressing
• 10 chestnut mushrooms
• 1 shallot
• Truffle trimmings
• Alfalfa shoots
• Madeira


  • Remove the breasts from the pigeon leaving the skin intact, this can be done in advance and stored in a light olive oil, (simmer the legs and carcass with Madeira to make a light jus).
  • Cut a 2″ round of fresh bread and fry in olive oil and seasoning, when golden set this aside; make the truffle salsa by cooking the chopped chestnut mushrooms, shallots, Coxon’s Ale-Gar and truffle trimmings to give that forest taste.
  • In a bowl place the blanched wedges of baby beetroot and the sun-blanched cherry tomatoes, then crumble the milk soaked in feta into the bowl. Leave on the side  until needed.
To Serve
  • Take the golden fried crostini and smear the top with a thick dollop of the truffle salsa at room temperature, introducing this to the plate.
  • Preheat a small pan, and skin side down sear the pigeon breast for 2 minutes, turn this over then remove the pan from the heat leaving the breast to continue to cook slowly and then rest as the pan cools, for the best results keep the breast rare.
  • Lightly blanch the asparagus tips in buttered hot water, fold these together with the salad and honey mustard dressing; position  this salad on the desired area of the plate.
  • Remove the rested pigeon from the pan, with the skin side down place it on a chopping board, and slice horizontally very thinly, drape these slices over the salsa topped crostini then napped with hot Madeira sauce, this will finish the cooking process whilst keeping the breast moist and tender. Garnish with the baby beet leaves and alfalfa shoots.
View the video interview with Chef Daniel Ayton, filmed by Jonathan Crane of Perpetual films here. 




Photography: Marte Lundby Rekaa
Art directing and design: Andy Paterson-Jones, New England