Roasted Whole Pigeon – a Great Way to Mix up Weeknight Dinners

Pigeons can be tricky to prepare because the meat will dry easily as with other poultry.

Don’t let this prevent you from making this dish and treat this little bird the same way as when you cook chicken. Choose young pigeons with a minimum of fat under the skin and if following this recipe all will go well.

oven roasted pigeon

Roasting pigeons whole brings out their rich flavour and keeps the meat tender and juicy. In this recipe we serve them on a layer of braised cabbage with pancetta. We flash fry first, flambé, and finish the cooking process in the air fryer to make a crispy skin.

Flavour can be added to the pigeon cavity with fresh herbs, mushrooms or other aromatics. The fillet tends to cook quicker than the legs during roasting. To avoid dryness, place some bacon or pancetta rashers over the breast.

Since pigeons are only small you can serve 1 whole bird per person.

oven roasted pigeon

Roasted Whole Pigeon

Roasting pigeons whole brings out their rich flavour and keeps the meat tender and juicy.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Meat & Poultry
Cuisine International
Servings 2 people
Calories 220 kcal

EQUIPMENT (click pictures for details)



  • Braised cabbage with pancetta


Prepare the pigeon

  • Check that all feathers are well removed.
    Cut the legs, the wing tips, the neck and the head off the body. Concasser all trimmings and keep for the sauce.
    raw pigeons
  • Check the cavity and remove the heart, liver and gizzards if still inside.
  • Season the pigeon with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter and oil in a cocotte over a medium to high heat then sear the pigeon.
    flash fry the pigeons
  • Turn the pigeon to sear evenly on all sides to obtain a golden colour all over. Remove the pigeons from the pan.
    flash fry the pigeons
  • Flambé with the Armagnac.
    flambée the pigeons
  • Roast the pigeon in the oven at 120°C for 30 minutes.
    Place the pigeon upside down on the wire rack, place foil on top and rest for 5 minutes.

Make the sauce

  • Sauté the pigeon trimmings in the heavy-base pan until brown.
    make the sauce for pigeons
  • Add the veal stock and cook the jus for 10 minutes.
    make the sauce for pigeons
  • Season the jus to taste and strain.
    make the sauce for pigeons
  • Cut the pigeon in half and serve with the jus aside.
    oven roasted pigeon


  • If the jus has reduced too much, add some water.

Nutrition for 1 portion

Calories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 11gFat: 8gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 867mgSugar: 4gVitamin A: 253IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword pigeon
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