Roasted young pigeons

(Recipe #142, page 112)

Nesting pigeons are best. They should be killed a day or two before being roasted but must not be exposed to the air after being plucked. If you like, they may be stuffed with the forcemeat in section I, no. 10.

Place them in an earthenware dish of appropriate size with a tightly-fitting cover and set them over moderate heat with a lot of good butter, some water, and a few grains of salt (it is easy to oversalt then); roast them slowly until they are quite tender. Doves must be browned only lightly, and their gravy must exhibit no hint of darkness. Particular care in roasting is required if the dish is intended for the sickroom.

When the pigeons are first put on the stove, a few fresh juniper berries (chopped, not ground) may be added to the butter if desired; in addition a small spoonful of cream may be added during roast, but both additions are a matter taste. The important thing, especially if the pigeons are intended for invalids, is that the color be light and the meat tender.

Translated by David Green.


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