Woodpigeon Breasts on toast with lemon and thyme fresh cheese

I had got some woodpigeon breasts and thought they would make a lovely lunch.

 woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 001

Beautiful wild game with no additives

 woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 003

Except, perhaps the lead shot that killed it!

I also had the lovely fresh cheese that I made specifically for this on the Great Greek Yoghurt Challenge….

 woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 004

And I have a fresh loaf of No Knead Bread

(I think I have seen a recipe for something very like this but I really can’t find it… I can’t have imagined it, surely? I have spent ages flicking through my magazines looking for the recipe but I just can’t spot it. It was probably in Olive or delicious. a year or more ago and it involved some kind of game, on toast with a lemony, thyme-y ricotta…. probably.  I have searched online and I still can’t find it – if any of you know who did it then let me know so I can give due credit. I would hate for someone to think I was stealing their ideas and I always try to link back to originals. I would hope that people would do that for me too)

Anyway, this is as simple as simple can be and oh-so-fast.

First, slice and toast your bread

 woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 005

Heat some oil in a pan (I use my oil that I have steeped chillies in – it just gives things a little lift) 

 woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 006

 and after seasoning the woodpigeon breasts with salt and some thyme

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 007

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 009

start to fry it quickly -it will only take a few minutes to get the outside browned beautifully while the inside stays pink

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 011

Once it is done, take it out and let it rest while you deglaze the pan with something.. wine, perhaps? Sherry? Port? Or, as I did, a Balsamic truffle glaze.

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 012

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 013

Slice the pigeon breast and lay it on the toast,

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 016

Drizzle with the pan juices

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 017

Put a spoonful of the fresh cheese over the meat

woodpigeon, Christmas pud stuffing, blueberryyoghurt cake 021

And that, I should tell you, was a lovely weekend lunch.

And I know that, hard though it is to believe, that one portion of this will come in at under 400 calories. Just a squeak under, but under, nevertheless.

It would be a brilliant week night supper as well, as it can be made in less than 15 minutes, if you have everything to hand.


I was born and brought up in the North of England in a more rural area than most of the rest of the country. I lived in a small village before I moved to the city. That’s it in the picture, just perched on the hill below the rising sun

 early morning bike ride 001

 Shooting is a pretty typical pastime, whether it is clay pigeons or game, in season. And now it is autumn, with its cool and misty mornings…… shooting season begins

 early morning bike ride 002

Those of you who disagree with shooting, leave the page now. What follows will only be of interest to those who believe that if you want to eat meat then you take the responsibility of dealing with its death. I believe it is an honest way of getting food.

It is also seasonal, healthy and very tasty. Excellent reasons for getting your own game. If you don’t (or can’t shoot) then support people who do and sell their game on. My brother (he of the ginger beer ham) shoots and, if he is feeling generous towards his big sister, will hand over various birds.

It’s the shooting season now and I asked him to remember me.

He must have been thinking of me because he sent me some photos   (probably the only photographs on this blog that  I didn’t take myself, so full credit to  little brother)  anyway, he took them on his mobile phone while he was out  the other day

Big Little Brother's Shoot

 Fantastic, isn’t it?

And while he was lurking in the undergrowth….look what went past

Bruv's deer pic

No, he didn’t come home clutching a haunch of venison but in the autumn months we are always well supplied with game birds – pheasants, wood pigeon, partridge, wild duck – and they make an excellent addition to autumn cooking.

Big Little Brother's shots!

At the moment, in my freezer, I have woodpigeon and pheasant and I know exactly what I will be doing with most of them. One of the many good things about having a regular supply of game is that you can experiment with new recipes and not just stick to the traditional ones.

Expect more posts on this – you might not have the game but you could replace that in the menu with chicken and you might find new recipes to please you.

Oh, and expect, at some point, to find a masterclass on breasting pheasant  – the world’s best little brother has promised to take pictures to show you how easy it is to prepare a pheasant for cooking! He’s also rather good on recipes…..