Seasonal small game recipes
It is the season to see wood pigeons migrating in large flocks through Spanish territory and partridges running through the fields and warm stubble. These culinary species have great culinary value and that is why we bring you two game recipes with a difficulty of 3/5, so that you can lick your fingers in the hands of our chefs of the month of October: Fernando Bermejo and Daniel de la Cruz.
Field partridges in sauce (2 diners)
Preparation time: 50 minutes
- 2 partridges
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- White wine
- Chicken soup
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 2 potatoes
instructions and preparation
- We will chop the partridges, we will remove the breasts, thighs, wings, loins.
- Chop an onion and peel the 4 garlic cloves.
- Add the oil to a pot, while seasoning the partridges to taste.
- When the oil is hot, add the chopped and seasoned partridges, brown the partridges on all sides and add the rest of the spices, thyme, basil, parsley and rosemary, as well as the chopped onion and garlic cloves.
- Once everything is golden with the oil, add a glass of white wine and wait a couple of minutes for the alcohol to evaporate.
- We will add a glass of chicken broth covering the partridges.
- We will cook the partridges for 40 minutes, we will move the meat a couple of times during cooking.
- We will check the texture of the meat, you can leave it cooking for 5 more minutes if they have not yet been tender.
- We will accompany the dish of partridges in their sauce with baked or fried potatoes.
Acorn-fed Iberian wood pigeon "socarrat" rice (2 diners)
Preparation time: 3h and 30min
- 2 wood pigeons
- Half an onion
- 10 grams of pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- Half a glass of white wine
- 1 small tomato
- coarse salt
- 8 saffron strands
- Olive oil
- Half lemon
- Mineral water
instructions and preparation
The first thing is to get the wood pigeons. In my case they are homegrown from last season, hunted by me in the month of November. Having been hunted in an area of holm oak forest and at that time, when cleaning and preparing them, their crop was full of acorns, which indicates that they had been feeding on acorns since they began to be ripe, with which these pigeons in particular They had a meat with organoleptic properties that translate into a unique flavor and oiliness of the meat.
Once we have plucked the pigeons, it is very important to leave the skin so that they cook with their own skin, since it will help us to flavor the stew, we proceed to separate the breasts from the pigeon carcass, for this we pass a knife well sharpened attached to the sternum and we go down the ribs until we remove the breast, we do the same with the other breast on the other side.
Once we have separated the breasts from the carcasses, we put them in an airtight container, and we can reserve them as is until it is time to eat or we can give them a mild marinade. In this case, we opted for a marinade with carrot, onion, black pepper, a couple of bay leaves, a dash of white wine and a dash of olive oil. We will leave it in the fridge until serving time, which will be just before eating.
With the casings that contain the legs and wings, we put them in the pot, in which they have previously been sautéed with a little onion, a few cloves of garlic, grated fresh tomato, and a couple of bay leaves. When everything is golden, add the carcasses of the pigeons, add about 3 glasses of water and cook for an hour and a half. It is essential to add a good amount of water since that is where the pigeon meat broth that we will use to flavor the rice will come from.
Once cooked, we separate the carcasses from the liquid, with the carcass they will crumble and bone and make pigeon croquettes, but we will leave that for another recipe.
Now we start with the "socarrat" rice, with a glass of rice for two people is more than enough. So that a good "socarrat" does not come out, it is essential to have a non-stick frying pan or casserole with heat diffusion throughout the bottom, the frying pan is recommended to be large because this type of rice is a thin layer rice, so it is essential that it is well distributed in a thin layer over the entire surface of the pan.
We put the frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and when it is very hot we add the whole glass of rice and fry for a minute over high heat, then without lowering the heat we add 4 glasses of the broth from cooking the carcasses, and stir the rice and the broth for one minute, after the minute we leave the rice for 7 more minutes over high heat from when it begins to boil, once the 7 minutes have passed, we lower the heat to medium gas and leave another 7 minutes, we will see during this time that the broth is consumed, that is the idea. Once the last seven minutes have passed, we leave another minute at full power. We would already have our "socarrat" rice ready, to plate it is necessary to use a kitchen spatula and peel it off the pan and do it with a roll.
We serve the rice on a plate and we put the breasts on which we pass them through the iron, the objective is that they remain crispy on the outside and pink on the inside. For them we will put them on the iron for about 3 minutes, you have to have them 3 times more on the skin side than on the other.
Once the breasts are ready, chop them up and put them on top of the rice and add salt to taste.
Now all that remains is to enjoy this magnificent, healthy and natural dish.
Soupy pigeon rice (3 diners)
- rice to taste
- pigeons 6x
- Natural tomatoes 3x
- 2x white onion
- 1x green pepper
- 2x red pepper
- 2x carrot
- red wine to taste
- sweet and spicy paprika
- Oil (better if EVOO)
- A glass of vermouth
instructions and preparation
For the broth, we will put the already clean and plucked pigeons in a pot, the cloves, an onion and water, and if we wanted, instead of water until covered, some bird broth; and we would keep cooking for an hour and reserve. For the stock, chop the onions, tomatoes, peppers and carrots into small pieces and fry until golden brown. We crush the sofrito until leaving it very fine, and we will add water until leaving it semi fluid. We will add salt to taste and optional pepper and paprika. The objective of this is to obtain a strong fumet, since the rice will reduce this flavor. We take the crushed, and put it on the fire in a paella, or container to prepare the rice, with a little oil and over high heat. Add the rice and mix properly. We will add two measures of the rice that we have added, from the previously prepared broth, stir properly until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. When obtained, we add the pigeons previously cooked in the broth, to the complete rice. Taking care that it does not stick, we will wait for the rice to soften. About 20 minutes, or until the rice is to your liking.