Wood pigeon on toast with pickled girolles and elderberries by Great Northern Hotel's Mike Denman

Serves 4

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Ingredients

8 pigeon breasts
4 slices of sourdough or country bloomer
2 tablespoons elderberries
10 chicken livers
50g soft butter
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
Watercress leaves
Salt and pepper

For the pickled girolles:

100g girolles, brushed to remove any dirt
150ml white wine vinegar
50ml water
40g caster sugar

To pickle the girolles, heat the vinegar, water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.  Then add the girolles and remove from the heat.  Leave the mushrooms to cool down in the pickling liquor.  They can be stored in the fridge for future use.

Remove any sinew from the chicken livers, then pan fry on a high heat.  Keep them slightly pink in the middle, and then drain onto kitchen paper.

When the livers have cooled slightly, chop them with a knife, keeping as course as you wish.  Mix in the soft butter to make a spreadable pate.  Leave to one side.

Pan fry the pigeon breasts, seasoning with salt and pepper.  They should take two minutes on the skin side, and then another minute or so  on the other side.  You need to keep them pink.  Remove from the pan to rest.

Toast the country bread, and spread with the pate.  Cut the pigeon breasts into thick slices and divide between the toasts.  Scatter with elderberries and top with watercress.

Mix the red wine vinegar and rapessed oil to make a loose vinaigrette and drizzle each toast with a spoonful.

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