Pithiviers de Pigeon

Many thanks to the team at Michelin Starred Le Vivier restaurant in L’Isle sur La Sorgue for sharing this recipe for an amazing festive feast using all the classic Christmas and New Year ingredients.

Ingredients for 12 parcels:                                      For the sauce:

6 Large farm pigeons                                                                                              Pigeon carcasses

1 Lobe of foie gras                                                                                                    2 carrots, 2 onions and 1 leek

2 Kg of large leafed spinach                                                                                 3 garlic bulbs, 1 bouquet garnis

2 Kg of puff pastry                                                                                                    2 litres of veal stock

1 Kg of Cepes                                                                                                      15 grams of finely chopped truffles

8 shalots                                                                                                                        Left over foie gras

3 garlic bulbs 3 sprigs of thyme,

10 cl Cognac 15 cl de creme

Salt Pepper

3 egg yokes for the glaze

Preparing the sauce:

Remove the breasts and legs of the pigeon and reserve. Clean the carcasses and put on a roasting tray in an oven for 20 mins at 200 degrees. Clean, wash, and finely chop the carrots, onions and leek. In a pan fry the carrots, onions and leek, add the carcasses and veal stock. Reduce the liquid to half the original volume and pass through a sieve. Reduce again to the desired consistency. Season and add the truffle. Before serving dot the sauce with the left over slithers of foie gras.

Mushroom stuffing:

Clean and finely chop the cepes. Chop the shallots and garlic and gently fry without colouring the shallots. De-glaze the pan with cognac and allow all the juice to evaporate away. Add the cepes and cook on a high heat, turning frequently. Add the cream, allow to cook for 5 more minutes, season and set aside in the fridge.

Escalope de foie gras

Slice 12 good sized escalopes from the lobe of foie gras (keep any left overs for the sauce). Fry quickly in a non stick pan. Season and set aside


Season and colour the breasts in a frying pan, skin side down, two minutes on each flank. Season and set aside in the fridge.

How it should look

How it should look

Making the parcels

Clean the spinach and then boil in a large volume of water. When cooked refresh immediately in iced water. Dry and set aside. On a piece of absorbent paper overlap 6 spinach leaves to form the shape of a crown. Repeat for each parcel. Place a emporte piece 7cm  in diameter on top of the spinach leaves. Brush with the egg wash in the centre of the circle. Place an escalope of foie gras on top and then a pigeon breast. Remove the emporte piece. Fold in the corners of the absorbent paper to wrap the pigeon and foie gras completely in the spinach.   Remove the absorbent paper and reserve the parcels in the fridge. Spread the pastry on a work surface which has been dusted with flour. Roll to a 2.5 mm thickness and use a bread plate to cut 24 circles of pastry. Prick 12 of the circles of pastry repeatedly and place the spinach domes in the centre of each piece of pastry. With the remaining pieces of pastry form domes with the palm of your hand and complete the covering of the spinach. Make sure the two pieces of pastry are well stuck together. Apply the egg wash. Place in the fridge for an hour. Re-apply the egg wash. Make a hole at the top of each parcel with a knife and insert a cone (chimney) of heat proof paper. Cook for 13 minutes at 18o degrees, turning mid-way through the cooking to achieve an even colour. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving, with the truffle sauce.


You may also like to try this festive pumpkin canape

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