Poached Pigeon and Crêpes
Deep red pigeon breast slices are crossed by crispy drumsticks in Chef Edwin Kats creative dish. Chef Kats serves the pigeon atop a stack of thin corn crêpes filled with foie gras slices and circled with green onions. Pigeon cream sauce surrounds the dish. The pigeon breasts are poached in pigeon stock; the little drumsticks are poached for an hour in goose fat, then pan-fried until crispy.
- Squabs - 4 (alt. anjou pigeons)
- Rendered goose fat - 5-6 oz
- Pigeon stock - 4 cups
- Rendered goose fat - 2 tablespoons
- Pigeon wings, bones, and scraps (above)
- Shallot - 1, julienned
- Black peppercorns - 1 tablespoon, crushed
- Dry White Wine - 2 tablespoons
- Pigeon stock - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Corn - 4 ears
- Milk - 2 cups
- Flour - 1 cup, shifted
- Eggs - 3
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons, melted
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Canola oil - 2 tablespoons
- Foie gras - 6 oz, poached and cooled
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Green Onions - 20, green part only, cleaned
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
To prepare the pigeons: Clean the pigeons and remove the wings and drumsticks. Trim away all of the carcass except the breasts. Split the breasts apart at the center, leaving the bones in. Save all bones and scraps for the sauce.
Heat the goose fat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the drumsticks, cover, and poach for 1 hour. Remove the drumsticks and blot away the fat. Set aside.
Put the bodies of the pigeons into the stock, cover, and heat to just below boiling. Poach for 18 minutes. Drain, set aside. When the pigeons are cool enough to handle, remove the bones and set the breasts aside; keep warm.
To prepare the sauce: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the goose fat. Put the wings, bones, and scraps in the pan with the shallot and peppercorns. Cook until the carcasses are well browned, 4 to 6 minutes, creating a brown glaze on the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and stir up the browned bits. Add the cream. Stir to blend, then bring just to the boiling point. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.
To prepare the crêpes: Cut parchment paper into eight 8-inch squares. Cut the kernels from the cobs. Add to the milk and puree with a blender or with a stick blender. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, discarding the solids. Combine the corn milk with the flour, eggs, butter, and salt, and stir into a batter.
Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, or brush the hot skillet with oil. Add a small spoonful of batter, tilting the pan to spread the batter into a thin circle nearly filling the pan bottom. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the edges begin to dry; flip and cook 30 seconds on the other side. Slip out of the pan. Make 8 crêpes, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Stack the finished crêpes, separating them with the parchment squares.
To prepare the onions: Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil and drop in the onions. Blanch 25 to 30 seconds; remove with a slotted spoon and dip into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from the water and dry on paper towels. Melt the butter in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat and warm the onions in the butter.
To serve: Put the drumsticks in a single layer in a saute pan or skillet and brown on both sides over medium-high heat until crispy. Slice the poached foie gras into 16 very thin slices. Cut the crêpes into 8-inch circles with a steel ring or by using a plate as a template. Place one crêpe on each warmed serving plate. Make a small circle of foie gras slices in the center of a crêpe. Season with salt and pepper. Place another crêpe on top. Put a 5-inch ring mold in the center of the top crêpe. Lay four spring onions around the inside edge of the mold, making a circle, then lift the mold. Repeat with the other crêpes, foie gras slices, and onions on the other plates.
Cut each pigeon breast on the bias into three pieces. Overlapping the slices, place 6 pigeon slices — the equivalent of one complete breast — on each crêpe within the onion circle. Cross two crispy drumsticks at the top of the breast slices on each plate. Use a stick blender to froth the sauce; spoon sauce around the crêpes on each plate.