Wood pigeon salad with wild mushrooms & Madeira vinaigrette

Pigeon breast meat is moist and succulent, delicious in a warm salad. This recipe makes an quick and simple autumnal supper or first course.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 4 People


  • wood pigeon breast fillets
  • 600g of various wild mushrooms
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • Selection of your favourite salad leaves
  • 150ml Madeira
  • 30ml white wine vinegar
  • 200ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe by Neil Dowson and Paula Minchin at the Victoria Holkham. Photography by Cubist Studios.  Thank you to Taste of Game for sharing this recipe with us.


  1. Toss the pigeon breasts in the oil and seasoning, so that they are coated. Allow to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Place a frying pan over a high heat, when hot place the pigeon breast in the pan with the marinade. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (breast should be rare to medium rare overcooked they become dry). Remove from the breasts from the pan and set aside in a warm place to rest.
  3. In the same pan add a little more oil and add sauté the shallots until soft and transluscent, then add mushrooms and a little seasoning. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and cooked through. Remove from the pan and place in a warm place while you prepare the vinaigrette.
  4. To make the Madeira vinaigrette, pour the excess fat from the pan and add the Madeira. Cook it over a high heat until it’s reduced by half in volume. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, then stir in the oil and some seasoning.
  5. Lightly toss the salad leaves in a little of the vinaigrette and divide the leaves between four plates.
  6. Slice each each breast diagonally into 4-6 slices. Arrange over the salad, scatter the mushrooms over and drizzle a little more of the vinaigrette over the pigeon breast.


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