This dish is perfect for a romantic picnic or a rustic bread-and-wine lunch. It is old-school pigeon pate, quite fine in texture and utterly delicious. It’s an easy one (which makes it a good one in my book), and something that can be knocked up in a jiffy.

Pigeon pate is the perfect way to use up those extra pigeon breasts. It makes for a wonderful accompaniment to a bread and wine lunch or, when the weather perks up, great for a picnic. It is also very quick to make, perfect if you have unexpected guests coming for the weekend.  Have a go at Mike Robinson’s recipe.

If you still have some pigeon breasts to use up, try our pigeon kebabs with hare and rosemary, a guaranteed favourite at any BBQ. Or if you want to brush up your pigeon shooting skills read our expert guide to pigeon shooting or pigeon shooting: top ten tips for decoying. If you like pigeon pate and want to make another, try The Field’s trout and fried almond pate.


Serves 12

  • Butter to fry with
  • 10 pigeon breasts
  • 12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 200g (7oz) chicken livers
  • A splash of sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cognac
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200g (7oz) melted butter
  • 100ml (4fl oz) double cream
  • Melted butter for topping

Heat the butter in a pan until it foams. Throw in the pigeon breasts with the sage, allowing them to cook gently for about two minutes per side, then take them out to rest. Place the chicken livers in the pan and cook for three minutes, adding more butter if necessary.

Now pour the sherry vinegar and cognac into the pan. Season. Chop the pigeon breasts up a little and pour the lot into a food processor. Whizz until the pigeon pate mix is really fine, then add the melted butter in a steady stream (if it looks like it is going to split, stop).

Now pour in the cream and stop whizzing. Taste for seasoning and pour into a serving dish. Cover with more melted butter and chill for a day. Serve the piegon pate with toast and home-made piccalilli.