Pigeon and wild blaeberry salad

Serves 4

Pigeons are very good value compared to a grouse, and this is a great way to get several servings out of them. The birds are at their best now, after a summer of feeding on wild berries. If you can't find blaeberries or little wild blueberries, then elderberries would also work well.

Once you've made this dish, you can make a nice broth with the bones.

Two oven-ready pigeons
60-70g butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small handful of blaeberries
A few handfuls of small flavoursome salad leaves and herbs

For the dressing

1tbsp red wine vinegar
½tsp Tewkesbury or Dijon mustard
4tbsp rapeseed oil

Pre-heat the oven to 240C/Gas mark 8, season the pigeon and rub the breasts with butter. Roast for about 12-15 minutes, keeping them nice and pink, then leave to rest.

Meanwhile make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together and seasoning to taste.

To serve, remove the breasts from the carcass and cut them into half a dozen slices and remove all of the leg meat and shred it. Arrange the leaves on four serving plates with the pigeon and blaeberries and spoon over the dressing.

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