4-6 young pigeons (275g- 325g/9-11 oz each)
4-6 tbls finely-chopped shallots
600ml/1 pt well-flavoured chicken stock
8 juniper berries
4-6 sheets lasagna
2-4 tbls butter
Brush pigeons with olive oil and season generously with coarse salt, pepper and cinnamon. Reserve.
To prepare the fumet in a medium-sized saucepan, saute chopped shallots in 3 tbls olive oil until lightly browned. Add the chicken stock; season with salt, freshly-ground black pepper and ½ tsp cinnamon. Add the juniper berries and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the fumet has reduced to about one-third of its original quantity. Remove from heat and reserve.
Heat the govern to 240°C/475°F/Gas 9. Bake the birds 15 minutes for quite rare, or 5 minutes more, if desired.
In the meantime, cook lasagna sheets in boiling salted water until well-cooked. Drain. With a large pastry cutter, cut lasagna into circles. When ready to serve, melt the butter gently over a very low heat until it begins to turn light gold (about 2 minutes). ‘Seize’ each pasta circle in the beurre noisette, pushing it to the side of the pan to give it a drape-like shape while still in the pan.
Skim the fat from the pigeon pan juices; add the fumet and warm up over high heat. Reduce heat to keep warm.
To serve Cut each pigeon into quarters; slice the breasts and arrange the birds on heated dinner plates. Garnish each dish with a portion of flat pasta and spoon 2-3 tbls of fumet over each serving. Serve immediately.
Text and photographs © Robert Carrier 1995. Food photography: Michelle Garrett. Printed in Hong Kong.