Friday 16 October 2009

kentish pigeon w plums

It was a case of Revenge of the Dinner!

When I stuck my hand into my pigeon to clean out the cavity, the sharp claws of the little beast dug into my flesh and scratched me quite painfully. The little bird unknowingly committed a small act of retribution before he was roasted and devoured.

As promised when I posted my Duck w Cherries recipe, here is a great Autumn recipe for those in the northern hemisphere. I suppose it's named after the area of the UK where the recipe comes from?

Like many ingredients that taste great together, pigeons and plums become widely available at the same time of year, allowing you to easily prepare this delicious Autumn dinner.

Just make sure there’s enough for everyone!

Kentish Pigeons w Plums
Recipe from Serves 4.
25g (1 oz) butter
15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
4 young pigeons, prepared
10ml (2 tsp) plain wholemeal flour
1 medium onion, skinned and chopped
2 cloves
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme) or 1 tsp dried
100ml (4 fl oz) port
450g (1 lb) purple plums, stoned and halved
Salt & pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg
1. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan.
2. Coat the pigeons lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess, then add to the pan and fry, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole.
3. Stir the onion into the frying pan and fry gently until beginning to soften. Spoon over the pigeons, then sprinkle the cloves and herbs over the top.
4. Stir the port into the frying pan, bring to the boil, then pour over the pigeons.
5. Arrange the plums over the top. Cover tightly and bake at 170°C for 1½ hours, until the pigeons are tender.
6. Transfer the pigeons and plums to a warmed serving platter.
7. Boil the juices for 2-3 minutes to thicken them and concentrate the flavour.
8. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour over the pigeons. Serve at once.

For Weekend Herb Blogging this week I'm focusing on the pretty little plum.

In Australia, where there are more than 200 varieties grown, plums are available from October to May with the peak season being February to March.

European plums are more oval whereas Asian plums are rounder and heart-shaped.

Plum skin is usually rather tart whereas the flesh is quite sweet. Most of the sugar in plums is glucose (rather than fructose or sucrose).

One of my mother’s favourite memories was when she left me alone with her father and a tray of overripe blood plums. Since those plums were so squishy, and neither my grandfather nor I had any teeth, when she came back we were both smothered in red juices! Generational pincer movement!

I was surprised to learn than red-fleshed plums have more nutrients and high sugar contents than yellow-fleshed plums. Maybe that’s why my grandfather and I were so eager to eat those juicy blood plums!

Prunes are just dried plums, and both are known as natural laxatives. I’ll never forget how annoyed my brother was after I absentmindedly shared an entire bag of prunes with his 3yr old daughter.

Substances within the plum’s seed can decompose into hydrogen cyanide gas and in large enough doses could be harmful, so don’t leave two tonnes of plum seeds to compost in your backyard.

This recipe and the plum are my Weekend Herb Blogging entry for the week, hosted by Cinzia from Cindystar a lovely blog from Lake Garda in Italy.

Other online plum recipes:
Brioche Plum Tarts - A Whisk & A Spoon
Chicken Plum Pie - Ja Mange la Ville
Damson Jelly - The Cottage Smallholder
Dimply Plum Cake - Smitten Kitchen
Ginger Plum Jam - Andrea Meyer
Green Gage Plum & Vanilla Jam - Chez Pim
Hungarian Plum Dumplings - FXCuisine
Moroccan Nectarine & Plum Chicken Tagine - Closet Cooking
Plum & Blue Cheese Pannacotta - Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
Plum & Muscat Gelato - White on Rice Couple
Plum & Peach Crisp - 101 Cookbooks
Plum & Radicchio Panzanella - Not Eating Out in New York
Plum Cake - La Tartine Gourmande
Plum Chutney - Green Gourmet Giraffe
Plum Kernel Oil Ice Cream - David Lebovitz
Plum Mayo Dressing - Simply Recipe
Plum Sorbet - Simply Recipes
Plum Tart - Rutic Kitchen
Quetsche Plum Tart w Walnut Cream - Chocolate & Zucchini
Roasted Plum Mousse Cannelee et Vanille
Rosewater & Plum Compote - 101 Cookbooks
Rosemary Plum Jam - Lucullian Delights
Upside-Down Plum Ricotta Cupcakes - Baking Obsession
Wild Plum Sauce - Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Yeasted Olive Oil Plum Cake - Wild Yeast
Yellow Plum Sorbet - The Nourishing Gourmet
Zwetschgendatschi (Bavarian plum cake) - Delicious Days

This time previously on M&M:
2008 - smoked salmon, raisin & feta spoons
2007 - moqueca de peixe (Brazilian dendê oil & coconut fish)
2006 - grape & aniseed schiacciata & pavlova martini



  1. Hey there! Thanks for linking to my plum tart recipe! I'm going to bookmark your list and try some next year -- sadly, plums are finished here in the Midwest.
    Janine at Rustic Kitchen

  2. Pigeon? Really? Intriguing... it looks rather dark... the color reminds me of dark meat turkey. What does it taste like?

  3. anna,great combo!
    thanks for participating!


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