About this recipe:English recipes for pigeon date back to the Middle Ages, when it was a popular meat. This modern dish uses a very English combination of nuts and berries. Leave at least 12 hours to marinate the pigeon breasts.
8 pigeon breasts, skinned
100ml (3½ fl oz) red wine
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 bay leaf, crumbled
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
Salt and black pepper
125g (4½ oz) baby spinach leaves or rocket
55g (2oz) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
125g (4½ oz) raspberries, defrosted if frozen
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Put the pigeon breasts in a wide bowl with the wine, sherry vinegar, bay leaf and 1 tablespoon of the hazelnut oil. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight. Drain, reserving the marinade.
Put the remaining hazelnut oil in a screw-top jar with the raspberry vinegar and some salt and pepper. Shake to mix.
Heat a ridged griddle-pan to hot, then add the pigeon breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, basting with the marinade, until brown on the outside but still pink inside.
Toss together the spinach or rocket, hazelnuts and raspberries in a wide serving bowl. Slice the warm pigeon breasts and add to the salad. Drizzle with the dressing, toss lightly to coat evenly, transfer to plates or a large platter and serve, with crusty bread.