I know partridge and pheasant are the most popular but don't forget the humble and completely delicious wood pigeon. I think the trick, as with most game, is not to overcook the meat and overcooked pigeon breast is a close relative of the ice hockey puck!
For anyone looking for a new way to use pigeon here is my recipe for pigeon risotto:
20g pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pigeon breasts
2 shallots, finely chopped
150g risotto rice
.75l-1l chicken stock
35g freshly grated parmesan cheese
Toast the pine nuts in a hot frying pan for a couple of minutes and put aside. Add the oil to the pan and cook the pigeon breasts over a highish heat for 2 minutes a side, remove from the pan, season and reserve. Get the stock hot and keep it so. Melt 50g of the butter in a saucepan, add the shallot and fry gently over a lowish heat ’til soft but not coloured. Stir in the rice and cook for a couple of minutes then start adding the hot stock, stirring quite frequently to prevent the rice sticking while it simmers. Continue adding the stock a ladle-full at a time until the rice is very nearly cooked through (about 20 minutes). Cut the pigeon into thin slices and add to the saucepan with the cheese, the pine nuts and the remaining butter and heat through for 4-5 minutes adding a little more stock if needed. Check the seasoning and serve into bowls.