Woodpigeon Stroganoff




My friend got permission from a local farmer to go shooting on his land. As a result he gave me 4 wood pigeons and a recipe. I didn't take enough pictures for a full instructable so I thought I would post it as a slideshow for any foodies interested.

It's delicious, tastes a little of kidney but without the pissy irony taste you sometimes get. I'd recommend cooking it until it's pink inside but no longer, it's beautifully tender when still pink and gets tougher as you cook it longer. I used double the recipe below to serve 4 people.

The pigeons were quite large, I plucked the feathers from the breast to clear it then cut a slit in the skin before peeling it all back. I then slit down either side of the breast bone and stuck my thumbs in to peel out the breast. A slit at the bottom and top end should allow you to pull it free.


breasts of 2 woodpigeon cut into long 20mm thick strips
1/2 400gm tin of chopped tomatoes
1 medium onion sliced not diced
1 red pepper sliced not diced
1 tbsp of smoked paprika
1 oz of butter
142 ml carton of sour cream
A handful of chopped parsley

1 - Gently sweat the onions and pepper in the butter for 2 minutes then add the paprika and cook until onions are soft.

2 - Increase the heat and when it starts to sizzle add the pigeon strips and fry until all sides are sealed.

3 - Add the tinned tomatoes a little at a time so the pan doesn`t cool too much then add 1/2 the soured cream a little at a time.

4 - Check the pigeon strips are cooked to the doneness you like(pink for me) then throw in the parsley stir and serve with rice and a dollop of sour cream on top.



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    11 Discussions


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It was amazing. I was really expecting something more like chicken when I cut them open, but it's really meaty, and as you said, really lean.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Here I am! Thanks for the link.
    Great recipe.

    I have two wild doves who took up residence here 5 years ago! They have had 14 clutches in those years!! Doves pair for life.

    (In the outback these Doves are considered to be a feral pest, and are regularly picked off!).

    I reckon my two will not like what I'm currently looking at!!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Getting some more game soon, so should be some more pigeon and hare recipes coming soon.


    9 years ago on Introduction


    My Grandfather raises doves and pigeons, specifically to eat. He is too old to hunt them anymore, but loves the flavor of dove.

    Incidentally, the rock pigeon was the first animal domesticated and raised by man for food. It's funny how they are now considered unhealthy and vermin.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Man, the dark purple meat is a little off-putting. I'd have to vote for some duck or pheasant meat, myself.

    1 reply

    Just wondering, how concerned should people be about bacteria-infested pigeons?  I wouldn't want to eat a NYC flying rat, but would you say that its safe to eat a country pigeon?

    1 reply

    Good point, I wouldn't touch a city pigeon, this is a nice big fat wood pigeon that's spent its life eating leaves and the farmer's seed. No cigarette butts or discarded sandwiches for this fella.

    He was hung a few days before eating, as with all game it improves the flavour. I've heard that you can do this with game because they don't harbour the same bacteria that chickens do for example, you wouldn't even consider hanging a chicken for a week, it'd just go off.

    This website has a little info on why people hang meat, and how long for.