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Alessi cuisine



Pigeon in saucepan, re-made with "Agresto", with small fennels

(Piccioncino in casseruola, rifatto all'agresto, co' finocchietti)

  • A)
  • 2 pigeons ready to be cooked and tied (wings and legs)
  • B)
  • a thick beat of:
    1 medium white onion
    1 rib of celery
    10-12 leaves of basil
    2-3 leaves of sage
    2 slices of Tuscan ham
    4 spoons of olive oil
  • C)
  • the livers and hearts of the pigeons + 1 chicken liver, already cleaned and cut in small pieces
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 5-6 leaves of sage
  • a pinch of spices
  • D)
  • a sort of shake of:
    2 garlic cloves
    a lemon peel
    a pinch of fennel seeds
    2 juniper berries
    2 glasses of grapes juice not yet ripened (called "agresta" grapes)
    1/4 of spoon of powder cinnamon
    2 cloves
    4 leaves of basil
    the small leaves of rosemary, previously boiled in a small pan for 5-6 minutes
    2 egg yokes
    a pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 of meat broth (also made with stock cube)
  • another glass of grapes juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of roasted bread
First of all prepare the broth with 1/2 stock cube and then hold it warm at disposal.
Take a small pan, put the stuff of point B) with oil and, at a maximum heat, make it brown for about 4-5 minutes, continuously turning it round in order it does not attach to the pan.
Then put the pigeons and, at a maximum heat, make them brown (continuously turning them round), wet them with some spoons of hot broth in order they do not become dry. Scrape off very well the stuff of point B) in the same pan you cook the pigeons as it do not burn; it will take about 10-12 minutes to brown the pigeons very well on every side.
At this point add 5-6 more spoons of broth, put the heat at a minimum, scrape off and mix all the staff very well, then cover the pan and make the stuff cook for 12-15 minutes by turning it round sometimes. After these minutes turn round the stuff and scrape off the bottom of the pan very well, then bathe the pigeons with "agresto" (grapes juice), increase the heat, but just a little bit, make evaporate always turning them round, then drop the heat once again, cook for some minutes more adjusting the quantity of salt and then maintain a hint of boiling until the time to serve them.
Take a tin, dissolve the butter and sauté the livers and sage at point C), at a maximum heat, while bathing them with a spoon of broth and spicing them a little bit. After 2-3 minutes they will be brown, but just the outside, while the inside will be still with blood, at this point add the aromatic "shake", well disintegrated and homogenized, continuously turning it round, and cook quickly for 2-3 minutes.
Now position the four warm roasted slices of bread in four dishes, cover them abundantly with the over mentioned stuff made with livers, then take the pigeons, divide them into two parts and position them, on their concave part, on the slices of bread with livers and serve immediately. They result very tasty with fennel cut in segments, boiled in salted water for 10 minutes and then re-made very quickly in the same pan where you have previously cooked the pigeons
ThThis is an old recipe (from Francesco Gaudenzio - XVII century) very important to demonstrate the attention of the chef in the use of season products with very tasty flavors. Our experience tells us that fruits and vegetables are still valid, as in the past, to thicken, integrate and characterize every sort of sauce and to obtain original vegetables; this use of fruits and vegetables renders less essential potatoes and tomatoes, which, in the modern cooking, monopolize the over mentioned functions. Fruits and vegetables result in an aromatic taste, in a tasty "weft", very consistent and various, but at the same time, they are light and dietetic; this is the main reason for their use.
To obtain the "agresto" from semi-unripe grapes, put the grapes in a liquidizer and blend them until everything will be well homogenized and disintegrated.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni

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