Date, Saffron & Pigeon Tagine
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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
An uncharacteristically quick and easy tagine, starring wild pigeon breast from Hampshire with saffron and sweetened with dried dates.
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573 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A thumb of ginger
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 50g dates
  • 250g wild pigeon breasts
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of saffron powder
  • 150g wholewheat couscous
  • 2 courgettes
From your kitchen
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 400ml + 300ml boiling water
You'll need
  • Deep frying pan or shallow casserole dish with a lid
  • Bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Cling film (optional)
  • Frying pan
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Peel and slice the onion into around 8 wedges. Peel and grate the garlic and the ginger. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley stalks (keep the leaves for later). Roughly chop the dates.

  • 2.

    Roughly chop the pigeon breasts into bite-size pieces (look out for any lead shot left in the pigeon). Warm a deep frying pan or shallow casserole dish for 2 mins. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the pigeon breasts. Fry for 4 mins, turning them once, till they're browned all. Transfer the pigeon breasts to a plate.

  • 3.

    Turn the heat down under the pan and add the onion with a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 mins till the onion wedges have softened and look a little glossy.

  • 4.

    Add the garlic, ginger, parsley and chopped dates to the pan. Chuck in 1 cinnamon stick and empty in the saffron powder. Sizzle for 1 min. Return the pigeon to the pan with any juices from the plate.

  • 5.

    Pour in 400ml boiling water. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Pop on a lid and simmer for 20 mins till the pigeon breasts are tender.

  • 6.

    While the pigeon tagine cooks, tip the couscous into a bowl. Pour in 300ml boiling water. Cover with a plate or cling film and leave to soak while you make the tagine.

  • 7.

    Trim the courgettes. Halve them and chop into small chunks. Warm a frying pan over a medium heat for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the courgette. Season with salt and pepper. Fry, turning them a few times, for 5 mins till they are golden and tender.

  • 8.

    Taste the pigeon tagine and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Fluff the couscous with a fork and divide betwen 2 warm bowls. Top with the courgettes and pigeon tagine. Garnish with parsley leaves to serve.