Watch Philippa Davis spatchcock a pigeon for the barbecue as part of this great recipe, it works just as well under the grill.


Spatchcock pigeon is a great recipe when paired with middle Eastern flavours. The pigeon pastilla (a signature dish of Fez, the religious capital of Morocco) is a great example of how the pigeon can take on spices and come out on top. And Philippa Davis’ recipe for spatchcock pigeon below follows a similar spiced path.

Spatchcocking a bird makes it easy to cook well, both in the oven and on the barbecue. This video shows you how to spatchcock a wood pigeon, and how to make the perfect grilled wood pigeon. All the ingredients are listed below.



Serves 4 as a main course

4 spatchcocked wood pigeon

Pigeon Marinade

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

½ tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp chopped marjoram

1 tbs olive oil


Mix all the marinade ingredients together and spread over the bottom of a dish. Place the spatch-cocked pigeon flesh side down in the marinade.  Leave for ½ – 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare the chopped salad…

Chopped Salad

½ cucumber

½ red pepper

½ green pepper

2 spring onions

150g diakon radish

50g flat leaf parsley

50g mint

50g coriander

1 medium tomato

2 sticks celery

Chopped Salad Dressing

1 lemon

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs linseeds

1 tbs sumac

Salt and pepper to season


Mix all the dressing ingredients in a big bowl.

Finley chop all the vegetables and herbs and add to the dressing

Mix well and check for seasoning.

Yogurt Za’atar

6 tbs plain yogurt

2 tsp za’atar

1 clove garlic

salt and pepper

Crush the garlic with a good pinch of salt using the back of a knife or with a pestle and mortar.

Mix the crushed garlic in with the yogurt and add the za’atar

Season with pepper then check for seasoning (adjust as needed).

To cook the pigeon…

BBQ the marinated pigeon starting  skin side for about 3 – 4 minutes each side.

Leave to rest for about 4 minutes (The meat is delicious when still pink)then serve with the chopped salad and seasoned yogurt.