Feuillété de Pigeon aux Cèpes

Breast of Pigeon with Cèpes and Puff Pastry

The pastry can be made and baked ahead if preferred. The contrasts of flavours and textures in this dish make it particularly pleasing.

Ingredients

  • 85 g(3 oz) prepared puff pastry
  • egg yolk
  • the breasts from two woodpigeons (make stock with the carcasses)
  • salt, milled pepper
  • 45 g(1 oz) butter
  • 2 slices of lard fumé or smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 wineglass red wine
  • 1 wineglass stock
  • cèpes, fresh, tinned or dried and softened in warm water

Method

On a floured board roll out the pastry to make an oblong measuring 20 × 12 cm(8 × 5 in). Trim the edges straight and cut into four rectangles. Brush the pastry with the egg yolk and decorate the centre of each rectangle with a few leaves and berries made from the trimmings. Transfer to a wetted baking tray and chill for 15 minutes.

Bake in the centre of a moderately hot oven (Mark 6, 200°C, 400°F) for 10–15 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Transfer the pastry to a wire rack and reheat when ready to serve.

Slice the breasts of woodpigeon thinly and season lightly. Heat two thirds of the butter and cook the bacon and shallot until starting to colour. Add the woodpigeon and sauté for only 2–3 minutes if they are cut thinly; finally add the cèpes and when cooked transfer the contents of the pan to a hot dish. Cover and keep hot. Pour the wine and the stock into the pan and bring to the boil, scraping to incorporate all the pan juices. Reduce over high heat by about half, remove from the heat and add the remaining butter. When melted pour the sauce over the meat.

Slice each piece of puff pastry in two layers. Place one layer on a plate, arrange some of the woodpigeon and cèpes on top. Cover with the pastry lid and spoon a little sauce around. Serve straight away.

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