Honey and Whisky Pigeon Breast on Polenta and with a Baby Spinach, Orange and Walnut Salad

Pigeon breast have a rich and smooth flesh like a good pate. They are ridicuosly well priced for their quality and are well worth purchasing. Pigeon breast make an excellent starter or a light main when entertaining.

4 Portions
Prep: 20 minutes plus 1 hour marinating
Cook: 10 minutes



  • 50ml whisky
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • juice and zest of half an orange
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 pigeon breast (skins removed)


  • 120g baby spinach
  • Segments from 2 oranges, reserving extra juice
  • 30g toasted walnuts
  • exta virgin olive oil
  • moldan salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 150ml balsamic vinegar, reduced down to a sticky sauce (see below)
  • juice from 2 oranges, reduced down to a sauce that coats the back of a spoon (see below)
  • 8 polenta croutons, grilled with a little olive oil (see recipe)


  1. Marinade: Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Place the pigeon breast in the marinade and place them in the refigerator for 1-2 hours to marinate.
  2. To Cook: Heat a pan with a little olive oil to a high heat. Remove the breast from the marinade and place them skinned side down in the hot pan. Reduce the heat to a moderate heat and allow them to cook for a couple of minutes. Turn the breast a cook for a further 1-2 minutes (dependant on how well you like them cooked). Remove the breast from the heat and allow them to rest for a couple of minutes.
  3. Salad: Toss th salad leaves with the walnuts, olive oil and seasoning (just before serving).
  4. To Serve: Grill the polenta croutons with a little olive oil when ready to serve. Place a handful of salad leaves in the centre of each plate. Place a polenta crouton on the salad servings. Over lap the orange segments in a circle on each polenta crouton and top with a second crouton. Place a handful of salad and 2 pigeon breast on each crouton. Drizzle the orange syrup around each dish and repeat this with the balsamic reduction.
  • Balsamic Reduction: Place a 150ml of balsamic vinegar and simmer it over a moderate until you have a sticky pourable syrup
  • Orange Juice Reduction: Place the juice of 2 oranges in a saucepan over a moderate high heat until reduced down a pourable syrup.