Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Here's something new. Cook time is approximate.
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup onion, finely chopped
- pigeon chicken giblets, finely chop
- 2 1⁄2 cups fireek bulgur wheat (coarsely crushed green wheat grains)
- 2 teaspoons mint, fresh,finely cut or 1 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 (1 lb) pigeons, oven ready or 4 (1 lb) doves or 4 (1 lb) young partridges or 4 (1 lb) baby pheasants or 4 (1 lb) quail or 4 (1 lb) woodcock or 4 (1 lb) grouse
- 1 1⁄2 cups water, cold
- 2 1⁄2 cups chicken stock, fresh or can
- parsley sprig
- Over moderate heat melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet.
- When the foam begins to subside, add the onions and the pigeon giblets and, stirring frequently, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and light brown.
- Add the fireek, mint, 1 teaspoon of the salt and a few grindings of the pepper and stir for 2 or 3 minutes until the grains are coated with butter.
- Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Pat the pigeons thoroughly dry inside and out with paper towels and sprinkle their cavities with the remaining salt and a few grindings of pepper.
- Then stuff 5 tablespoons of the fireek mixture into the breast cavity and 1 tablespoon into the neck cavity of each pigeon.
- Set the remaining fireek aside.
- Fasten the neck skin to the back of each bird with a skewer and close the breast openings by lacing them with skewers or sewing them with heavy white thread.
- Truss the birds by tying their legs together and bT 1: the skins with the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.
- Place the pigeons, breast side up, in a heavy 4 to 5 quart casserole and pour in the water.
- Bring to a boil on top of the stove, cover tightly and braise in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.
- Baste the pigeons with the liquid in the casserole, and continue braising for 1 hour longer.
- To test for doneness, pierce the thigh of a bird with the point of a small, sharp knife.
- If the juices that run out are slightly pink, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- A half hour or so before the pigeons are done, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan over high heat.
- Stirring constantly, add the reserved fireek mixture and bring to a boil again.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the grains are tender and have absorbed all the liquid.
- To serve, arrange the pigeons on a heated platter and remove the trussing strings and skewers.
- Moisten the pigeons with the liquid remaining in the casserole, and garnish the platter with parsley.
- Fluff the fireek with a fork and serve it separately in a heated bowl.