Chilli-fried pigeon

Chilli-fried pigeon

By
From
Meat
Serves
4
Photographer
Dean Cambray

These are a favourite late-night snack of mine from Chinatown. Pigeon meat is rich and dark, and has a strong gamey flavour that works brilliantly with chilli-heat and prickly Sichuan pepper. It should be salty and spicy all at once, and leave a lingering buzz in your mouth and on your lips. You’ll definitely need a few ice-cold beers to wash it down. But just a note about ‘responsible cooking’: deep-frying and alcohol consumption don’t mix, especially when you’re tired. So don’t start your drinking until the cooking is all over!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 x 450g pigeons
2 tablespoons ground sichuan pepper
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes, or finely chopped fresh chilli
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons cornflour
vegetable oil, for frying
lemon or lime wedges, to serve

Spicy salt

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or finely chopped fresh chilli
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped

Dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon fresh chilli, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 lemon or lime, juiced

Method

  1. Prepare the pigeons by cutting off their heads, necks and claws and splitting them in half, lengthwise. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or a large heavy-based frying pan to 175ºC.
  2. To make the spicy salt, mix all the remaining ingredients, except for the oil and lemon wedges, in a large mixing bowl. Add the pigeon halves to the bowl and toss in the spice mix until they are thoroughly coated. Fry them in batches until a glossy deep brown. If, like me, you like your pigeon rare, they’ll need about 5 minutes. Cook them for longer if you prefer.
  3. Remove the birds from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack.
  4. Serve the pigeons hot, with lemon wedges, the spicy salt and dipping sauce and a few cold beers.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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