Rhubarb Pigeon breasts

Marinated pigeon breast in rhubarb and paired with warming flavours of star anise, cinnamon and cloves and served with a black garlic and rhubarb chutney. 

Recipe note

Black garlic is a created by preserving normal white garlic at a certain temperature and humidity. It develops an almost jelly like texture and tastes like a rich balsamic vinegar with a slight smokiness.


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes marinading)
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 2 people


  • 4 sticks rhubarb, washed & cut into 2cm chunks
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 bulb black garlic (try Balsajo, available in Sainsbury's)
  • 2 wood pigeon breasts (skinless)
  • Handful of baby rocket or baby herbs to garnish

Thank you to chef, Mike Keen and food photographer, Emma Kindred for sharing this recipe and imagery with us.


  1. Put the rhubarb into a heavy-based pan on high heat and add a teaspoon of water. Stir until the rhubarb starts to break down then add the sugar, keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the rhubarb is tender. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
  2. Massage the pigeon breasts with half the cooled rhubarb and leave it to marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the black garlic and rhubarb chutney, heat the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves in a pan until you can smell them toasting.
  4. Take off the pan off the heat and add the red wine, stir and then return to a low heat.
  5. Add the black garlic and the rhubarb mix to the pan and stir. Do taste it and if it needs more sugar add some - ideally it shouldn't be too sweet to allow the rhubarb's acidity to cut through. Remove the pan from the heat and keep at room temperature until you are ready to stir.
  6. Get everything ready to serve including the garnish as cooking the breasts will only take a couple of minutes.
  7. To cook the pigeon breasts, brush any excess marinade off the breasts and keep it to the side to put back on the breasts when they're almost done.
  8. Heat a heavy-based frying pan and add a splash of sunflower oil, add a little sea salt to the skin side of the breasts and when the pan add them to the pan - they will sizzle!
  9. After 90 seconds turn the breasts over and cook for another 90 seconds on the other side. Throw in a splash of red wine quickly followed by the remaining rhubarb marinade. Stir around for a couple of seconds and then remove the breasts onto a board and let them rest for 2-3 minutes.

To serve

  1. Dress the plates with a splash of the rhubarb and black garlic chutney.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut each breast into 5 pieces and lay them onto the plates over the dressing.
  3. Use a teaspoon to drizzle the rhubarb mix in which the pigeon was cooked over the breasts and scatter the baby rocket leaves or herbs.

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