Wood Pigeon and Chestnut Casserole With Port
Relish the flavors of autumn with this delicious, warming casserole. Cook’s Tip: To shell fresh chestnuts, make a cross with a sharp knife on each nut. Cook in a hot oven for 15 minutes until the shells crack, then peel.
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) oil
- 4 pigeons, halved
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 streaky bacon rashers, chopped
- 2 tbsp (1 oz/25 g) plain flour
- 1 ⅔ cups (14 fl oz/400 ml) chicken stock
- ⅔ cup (¼ pint/150 ml) orange juice
- 30ml/2 tbsp port
- 2 cups (8 oz/225 g) shelled chestnuts
- 2 tbsp (1 oz/25 g ) butter
- 2 oranges, sliced
- salt and ground black pepper
- watercress sprigs to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas 4). Heat the oil in a shallow flameproof casserole and saute the pigeons until browned. Transfer them to a bowl.
- Add the chopped onion and bacon to the pan and saute until golden.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute until it begins to brown.
- Pour in the stock, orange juice and port, with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then return the pigeons to the casserole. Cover, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
- Stir the chestnuts into the casserole, return to the oven and cook for 30 minutes more.
- Just before serving, melt the butter in a frying pan. Fry the orange slices until golden on both sides. Garnish the pigeon casserole with the orange slices and watercress sprigs. Serve at once.