Prep time: 15 mins (+ 2-8hrs marinating)
Cooking time: 5 mins
6–8 fresh pigeon breasts (depending on size)
4 tbsp peaty, smoky whisky (Laphroaig, Lagavulin or Talisker,
otherwise a blend like Famous Grouse or Bell’s will suffice)
1–2 Lapsang Souchong teabags (or 3 tsp loose tea)
rapeseed oil, or vegetable oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar (balsamic, wine or cider)
340g jar of pickled beetroot
small bag of mixed salad leaves: rocket, watercress, spinach
50g of walnut pieces, pre-roasted in a hot oven for a few mins
salt & pepper
Rinse the pigeon breasts under running water and pat dry with kitchen roll.
Marinate the breasts in the whisky in a shallow glass or porcelain bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours but up to 8.
Tear open the teabags and empty the tea onto a plate.
Remove the breasts from the whisky marinade and turn the breasts in the tea leaves to lightly coat each breast; put to one side.
Lightly pan fry the pigeon breasts in rapeseed oil, allowing no more than a minute or 2 on each side, keeping the breasts nice and pink.
Remove the breasts from the frying pan and allow to rest while you dress your plates.
Make a light vinaigrette using olive oil and vinegar, or a little of the pickled beetroot juice instead of vinegar.
Toss the salad leaves with the vinaigrette.
Arrange the leaves among 4 plates with the beetroot cut into slices. Slice the pigeon and place on top of the leaves then garnish with the walnuts and season with salt & pepper to finish.