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Young and tender pigeon, roasted with sage

(Piccioncino giovane e tenerello, arrosto alla salvia)

  • 2 pigeons with their livers
  • 1 crushed mixture composed by beating in the mortar
  • 6 garlic cloves cut in pieces
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 10-12 leaves of sage
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • a glass of white wine
  • 2 clusters of sage
  • a piece of crumb reconstituted in hot milk
  • some leaves of parsley
  • a pinch of spices
  • seed oil
  • salt and pepper
Take the pigeons and keep their livers in order to use them afterwards, salt and pepper them uniformly inside and outside. Spread them uniformly with the crushed mixture through a real and proper massaging, in order to incorporate as good as possible the flavours of the crushed ingredients; let the pigeons flavour for some hours. In the meanwhile take the pigeons livers and beat them with a knife together with the leaves of parsley and they will be like a mush, knead them together with the crumb well squeezed from the milk. Salt, pepper and spice proportionally by mixing the stuff in a bowl with a fork, then divide this mixture in two parts, take once again the pigeons and fill their bellies with the above mixture (one amount each). Put a cluster of sage on the breast of each pigeon, then wrap them tightly in a tinfoil, put them in a baking tin, bathe them with some oil, then put them in the oven for about 40 minutes at the temperature of 160° C.
After this time remove the tinfoil, bathe with some wine and let them cook at 180° C until the two pigeons will be browned and the wine will be evaporated (it will take about 10 minutes). At the right time drip the pigeons from the cooking oil, without taking out the baking tin from the heat, add 500 grs of potatoes cut in small cubes and cook them, always over a high heat, for 30 minutes or until they will be a bit browned, turning them sometimes. When they are ready cut the pigeons in two parts (along their length) and put them for a while over the potatoes. Then put them on a tray, the potatoes underneath and the pigeons over and serve.
Differently from what indicated by other people, we think very good for the pigeon (which has red meats) a cooking not with blood. By this way the general tastiness will take advantage and the softness of the meat will not result penalised (for example this happens for the steak, in fact if it is too cooked it becomes a sole), because in this case pigeons are young and very tender.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni

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