A unique and imaginative dish from MasterChef Ireland 2011 winner Mary Carney


  • for the water bath squab:
  • smoked bacon
  • blend of coriander seeds and black pepper
  • thyme
  • port
  • butter
  • 4 squab
  • dark chicken stock
  • for the pea puree:
  • 2 packs of frozen petits pois
  • 2 bags of fresh peas
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • chicken stock
  • basil
  • mint
  • sherry vinegar
  • for the crumb:
  • jack mccarthy’s black pudding
  • 400 g walnuts (shelled preferably)
  • for the braised spring onions:
  • water/butter for an emulsion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6 bunches of spring onions
  • for the crispy bacon:
  • 20 slices of smoked bacon
  • for the pigeon glaze:
  • truffle honey
  • dijon mustard
  • for the pigeon jus
  • dark chicken stock
  • sherry vinegar
  • for decoration:
  • flowering pea shoots
  • borage flowers
  • salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 150°C.
  • For the spring onions: Prepare the spring onions, blanch and set in iced water. Closer to service, warm and cook through both spring onions and blanched peas in a water butter emulsion.
  • For the crumb: Cook the walnuts at 150°C for 15 minutes, remove and peel. Pan fry black pudding until crisp.
  • For the peas: Cook fresh peas in salted water, remove skins and set in ice cold water. Cook garlic in olive oil and allow to infuse. Cook frozen peas in water for 4 minutes. Blitz frozen peas for 5 minutes, with some light chicken stock, pass through a chinois and add garlic oil to taste, salt and sherry vinegar. Set peas on a bowl of ice to maintain colour.
  • For the glaze: Mix equal quantities of dijon mustard with truffle honey and set aside.
  • For the pigeon: Prepare the pigeon pieces and set in 2 vac pac bags with a few thyme sprigs, two slices of smoked bacon, a couple of tablespoons of port and a few knobs of butter. Place in a water bath at 61 degrees celsius for 2 hours. Remove from bag, reserving juices. Pass juices through muslin and reserve for sauce. Using a pastry brush generously paste glaze on to pigeon and place under the grill on high for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • For the pigeon livers: Season livers just before cooking and pan fry in oil and butter for 2 minutes each side on a medium heat.
  • For the crisp bacon : Crisp bacon under the grill.
  • For the pigeon jus: Strain the reserved juice into a muslin cloth and allow to boil gently. Add chicken stock and sherry vinegar to taste. Serve alongside the pigeon in a jug.
  • Finish: Place crumbled pudding and walnuts on to pigeon. Set squab on top of pea puree, scatter with blanched peas and place the onions alongside. Place crisp bacon on the place. Decorate with borage flowers and pea shoots.

More by Mary Carney:

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