Tortelli of braised wood pigeon with pan roasted breast

Hugh Mullan's signature dish from Heat 2 of MasterChef 2014


  • for tortelli of braised wood pigeon with pan roasted breast:
  • 3 whole wild pigeons or (squab pigeons)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 500 ml double cream
  • 1 l dark chicken stock
  • 200 g bunch of thyme
  • 1 carrot, 2 sticks of celery, 2 large shallots (banana)
  • 500 g ‘oo’ pasta flour
  • fine semolina to dust work surface
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 6 medium organic eggs
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • for roasted garlic puree:
  • 3 large bulbs of garlic
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 250 ml double cream
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • for parsley oil:
  • 500 g fresh bunch of parsley
  • 200 ml olive oil for pan fried girolle and cep mushrooms:
  • 100 g cep mushroom
  • 100 g girolle mushroom
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • for pickled shimeji mushrooms:
  • 100 g shimeji mushrooms
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar
  • 50 g light brown sugar
  • black peppercorns, fennel seeds
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • for braised purple chicory and shallot:
  • 3 red chicory hearts
  • 3 large shallots (banana)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • for madeira sauce:
  • 500 ml madiera wine
  • 1 carrot, 2 sticks of celery, 2 large shallots (banana)
  • 50 ml sherry vinegar for toasted hazelnuts:
  • 100 g shelled/blanched hazelnuts for chopped chives:
  • 200 g fresh chive stalks


  1. For Tortelli of braised wood pigeon with pan roasted breast:
  2. Heat some oil in the pressure cooker and cook the carrot, celery, thyme and shallots for a few minutes
  3. Debone the pigeon legs and place in the pressure cooker and place in the cooker to brown for a couple of minutes then add the stock
  4. Close the lid and cook for 20 minutes, remove the legs and shred the meat finely and reserve the cooking stock for the sauce
  5. For the pasta, blitz the eggs and flour and a little oil in the food processor until incorporated then place in the mixer to knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, remove cover with cling film and rest
  6. Blitz the chicken breast in the food processor with salt and add cold cream and mix, then incorporate the shredded leg meat and keep chilled
  7. Roll pasta dough to the finest setting and cut equal sized squares, fill with leg meat mixture, fold to seal and shape into tortelli, set aside until ready to cook
  8. Cook the tortelli in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes and serve.
  9. For the pigeon breast, heat the oil in the pan and colour both breasts of the ‘crown‘ for 2 minutes and roast in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove and rest until ready to serve
  10. Carve the breasts off the crown to serve For roasted garlic puree:
  11. Wrap the bulbs in tin foil and coat in olive oil and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes
  12. Remove and allow to cool then squeeze the puree out of each bulb into the pan of cold cream
  13. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat and blend to a smooth consistency adding butter if necessary
  14. Keep warm until ready to serve For Parsley oil:
  15. Blanch the parsley for 30 seconds and refresh in iced water
  16. Squeeze out all the water and blitz in the food processor for a a minute, then slowly add the oil
  17. Allow to infuse for a while, then passthrough a fine sieve with pressing against the puree store until ready to serve For Pan fried Girolle and Cep mushrooms:
  18. Trim the giroles and slice the ceps lengthways
  19. Cook the ceps in oil for a few minutes on each side to crisp, adding the girolles and butter then cooking for a further few minutes until ready to serve For Pickled Shimeji mushrooms:
  20. Cook the garlic, shallot in a pan for a few minutes
  21. Add the white wine and boil for 2 minutes
  22. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 5 minutes then take off the heat
  23. Place mushrooms in the pickling liquor until ready to serve
  24. For Braised Purple chicory and shallot:
  25. Cut the chicory and shallots lengthways and cook in oil in the pan for 5 minutes to caramelise
  26. Add the butter and some water and continue to cook until ready
  27. To finish, sprinkle the cut side with some sugar and blowtorch for a few seconds For Madeira Sauce:
  28. Sweat the vegetables off in the pan for 5 minutes until soft
  29. Add the madiera and sherry vinegar and reduce by 2/3
  30. Add the reserved cooking stock from the pigeon legs and reduce to sauce consistency, keep warm For Toasted hazelnuts:
  31. Roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, allow to cool and roughly chop For Chopped chives:
  32. Finely chop the chives just before service

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