Pigeonneau or young pigeon, is not a hunted bird. It is bred, more specifically, these ones came from France.
The millefeuille of root vegetables is in fact nothing more than a quiche without a pastry, using very little "appareil" aka cream/egg mixture to glue everything together. I uses celeriac, potato, carrot, turnip. Slice it all in thinly on a mandolin or with a knife and steam the slices. I steamed the celeriac first and then added a few minutes later the carrot, then later the potatoes and again later, the turnips. In an ovendish I made layers of celeriac, carrot, turnip, potato and finally a layer of chopped parsley. Season each layer lightly! Then repeated those layers, ending with potato. Mix cream and eggs in a ratio of 100 ml cream + 1 whole egg and seasoning, and pour over the layers. Bake 30-45 minutes at 200°C/400°F, leave to cool 15 minutes and then cut pieces out or use a ring to cut rounds out.
The sauce is a reduction of red wine, red wine vinegar, juniper berries, parsley stalks, black pepper corns, balsamico vinegar, a little sugar. When reduced at least by half (taste!!), add stock of your choice. I used left-over leek bouillon. Leave to reduce again by half. Add a chunk of very cold butter (about a tbsp.) and swirl the pan away from the fire until all butter is dissolved. I used a slice of the umami butter I made a week ago...mamma mia; http://www.cheftalk.com/t/79467/just-learned-about-umami/30#post_458244
The pigeons are cooked on the whole, starting with browning them in an oil/butter mixture. Start with the sides and hold them down using some paper towel. I then proceeded the cooking in the oven at 200°C/400°F in a peculiar way. You need a timer for this. It's a method of cooking in the oven at intervals and resting outside the oven;
- cook for 1 minute + rest for 1 minute
- cook for 2 minutes + rest for 2 minutes
- cook for 3 minutes + rest for 3 minutes
- cook for 4 minutes + rest for 4 minutes. Ready to serve.
This method will give you the tenderest birds, cooked to perfection. Not one drop of blood sips out of the meat!
Cut the meat from the breastbone. Serve!