pigeon with kumquats – serves 6

6 pigeons
3 tablespoons olive oil
250g button onions, peeled
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
¾ -1 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
large pinch of saffron threads, toasted and crushed
900ml chicken stock
250g kumquats, halved
2 tablespoons clear honey
salt and pepper
lightly toasted almonds, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large, heavy flameproof casserole and brown the pigeons. Transfer them to a dish. Stir the onions into the casserole and sauté until golden. Stir in the cinnamon, bay leaf, ginger, saffron, stock and salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Return the pigeons to the casserole with any juices that have collected in the dish, cover and cook gently, turning the pigeons occasionally, for about 45 minutes, depending on their age, until they become tender.
Add the kumquats and honey, cover and cook for a further 30-45 minutes until the pigeons are very tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a large warmed serving platter, cover and keep warm.
Boil the cooking liquid until slightly thickened. Discard the cinnamon and bay leaf. Pour the liquid over the pigeons and scatter over the almonds.


a Moroccan dish - game and fruit match very well