Anjou Pigeon, Sweetcorn Purée, Red Onion Petals and Bacon Popcorn
- COOK TIME: 3 Hours
- PREP TIME: 2 Hours
- DIFFICULTY: Difficult
- SERVES: 4
- 2 pigeons, preferably Anjou pigeons
- Bacon popcorn – see recipe
- Sweetcorn purée – see recipe
- Sweetcorn kernels – see recipe
- Red onion petals – see recipe
- Turnip seedlings – to serve
- 200g of Alsace bacon, rind removed
- 25g of popcorn
- 2 corn on the cob
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- olive oil
- 2 corn on the cob
- 25ml of olive oil
Red onion petals
- 1 red onion, peeled
- 2l red wine
- 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 60g of sugar
- 50ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper
Recipe courtesy of chef Agnar Sverrisson from www.greatbritishchefs.com
- For the bacon popcorn, finely chop the bacon and place in a hot frying pan. Cook over a medium heat until crisp, then take the pan off the heat. Reserving the bacon, pour the fat from the pan into a container and set aside for later.
- Set the dehydrator to 60⁰C. Blitz the crispy bacon into a fine crumb using a blender, then transfer to the dehydrator and leave to dry overnight.
- Preheat the water bath to 70⁰C.
- To prepare the pigeons for cooking, slice off the legs and breasts and discard the rest of the carcass. Reserve the breasts for later. Remove the thigh bones from the legs, leaving the drumsticks and feet in place. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over each leg and stretch cling film tightly around the meat. Using a chamber sealer, seal the two legs inside a vacuum bag. Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 2 hours.
- To finish the bacon popcorn, place the reserved bacon fat in a saucepan, add the popcorn and cook until popped. Once cooked, sprinkle over some of the bacon crumb.
- For the corn purée, slice the sweetcorn kernels off the cob. Seal the kernels and cobs together in a vacuum bag with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the vacuum bag and simmer for 1 hour.
- To make the sweetcorn kernels, fill another saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Using a chamber sealer, seal the corn on the cob inside a vacuum bag with the olive oil and add to the pan. Simmer for 45 minutes, then remove and unseal the bag. With a sharp knife, slice the kernels off the cobs and discard the latter. Scatter a pinch of salt over the kernels and put to one side until needed.
- Once the corn for the purée has finished cooking, remove the cobs from the vacuum bags, then empty the kernels into a blender. Pulse until smooth, then put to one side until needed. You may need to add a splash of water to the blender to prevent the purée becoming thick and clumpy.
- Next, prepare the red onion petals. Begin by making a red wine reduction. Pour the wine into a saucepan and mix in the salt, sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil and gently simmer until reduced to the consistency of a light syrup, then add the xanthan gum and stir well. Leave to thicken.
- Leaving the root intact, quarter the onion lengthways, then slice each quarter in half to make eight small segments. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the onion. Simmer for 3 minutes, then immediately transfer the onion to iced water to halt the cooking process. Peel apart the layers of each segment and stir the ‘petals’ into the red wine reduction. Leave in a warm place until needed. Do not allow to cool.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 62⁰C.
- Using a chamber sealer, seal the pigeon breasts inside a vacuum bag with a pinch of salt. Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 12 minutes.
- Before serving, unseal the vacuum bags containing the pigeon legs and the pigeon breasts. Unwrap the cling film from around the legs, then lightly char the meat (legs and breasts) using a blowtorch.
- To serve, smear the base of each plate with sweetcorn purée, then add a spoonful of sweetcorn kernels on top. Position 3 red onion petals beside the kernels and spoon over a small amount of the red wine reduction. Place 1 pigeon breast and 1 pigeon leg on each plate and top with a little of the bacon crumb. Finish with a garnish of bacon popcorn and turnip seedlings.