Pigeon - Victorian Recipes
From 'The Dictionary of Daily Wants' - 1859
PIGEON BROILED. - Split the bird down the back, spread it open, season
with pepper and sait, and broil over a quick clear tire. Serve with mushroom sauce.
PIGEON FRICASSEE. - Cut half a pound of pickled pork into thin slices,
and put it in a small quantity of water on the fire for about half an hour; scald two or
three large pigeons in boiling water, and cut them in halves; add the pork, with a bundle
of parsley, thyme, shalots, and two cloves; soak them for a little while, then add water
and whole pepper. When done, skim and sift the sauce, add to it three yolks of eggs and a
little cream, and incorporate the whole over the fire, but do not let it boil. When done,
add a small quantity of vinegar.
PIGEON PIE. - Rub the pigeons with pepper and salt inside and out; put in
a bit of butter, and, if approved, some parsley chopped with the livers, and a little of
the same seasoning. Lay a beefsteak at the bottom of a dish, and the birds on it; between
every two a hard egg. Put a cupful of water in the dish; and if a thin slice or two of
ham be added, it will greatly improve the flavour. When ham is cut for gravy or pies,
the under part should be taken rather than the prime. Season the gizzards and two joints
of the wings, and place them in the centre of the pie. Over them, in a hole made in the
crust, insert the feet nicely cleaned, and leave them protruding-, to indicate the
contents of the pie.
PIGEON RAGOUT. - Make forcemeat sufficient to stuff four birds, chopping
up the livers with the other ingredients. Brown the pigeons in the frying-pan, and then
put them into a stewpan, with enough rich beef gravy to cover them; thicken this with
flour, and pour in a teacupful of mushroom ketchup and a gill of port wine. If fresh
mushrooms can be procured, add four or five to the stew: in this case omit the ketchup.
PIGEON ROAST. - Pick, clean, singe, and wash the bird well; truss it with
the feet on, and put into them some pepper and salt. While roasting, baste them with
butter. Just previous to serving, dredge them with flour, and froth them with butter.
Roast them for half an hour. Serve them with parsley and butter in the dish, or make a
gravy of the giblets, and add some minced parsley with a seasoning of pepper and salt.
Thicken with a little flour and butter; pour it with the giblets into the dish, and then
put in the pigeons.
PIGEON SOUP. - Make a clear gravy stock of four pounds of lean beef, or scrag and
shanks of mutton, two small turnips, a head of celery, two onions, and a gallon of water
boiled down to three quarts. Put to this the gizzards, crops, and livers of four or
five pigeons. Truss the birds as for boiling, and season them with pepper and salt.
Dredge them with flour, and brown them in a frying-pan. Thicken the stock with butter
kneaded in browned flour; strain it, and season it with white pepper, salt, and a
little mace, and let the pigeons-stew in it for half an hour, taking off the scum as it
rises. Throw a few toasted sippets into the tureen before dishing the soup.
PIGEONS STEWED. - Wash and clean six pigeons, cut them into quarters,
and put all their giblets with them into a stewpan, with a piece of butter, a bit of
lemon-peel, two blades of mace, some chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover the pan
closely, and stew the contents till they are tender; thicken the same with the yolk of
an egg beaten up with three tablespoonfuls of cream and a bit of butter dusted with
flour; let them stew ten minutes longer before serving.
PIGEONS, TO CARVE. - Pigeons may be simply cut in two, either from one end to the other
of the bird, or across.