Simple pigeon prep

22nd March 2013

Here is a quick and simple way of removing the breast and leg meat off of a pigeon (or indeed any bird), that literally takes a few minutes to complete and avoid laborious plucking and goes no where near the bird’s innards.

Warning this blog contains images of animal butchery! Please do not look if this offends you.

1. First laying the pigeon on its back. 


2. With your thumb and forefinger pinch up a piece of skin in the centre of the top or the breast, and with the tip of a sharp knife make a small incision through the skin.


3. Once a hole has been made in the skin, peel the skin back from the center to reveal the whole of the breast.


4. Now using the very tip of the knife, run along one side of the white line down the middle of the breast. This is the sternum or breastbone, often called a keel in birds because of its shape.


5. Continue removing the meat from the bone with the tip of the knife. Make sure that the knife stays as close to the bone as possible to remove all the meat. The bone flares out to the sides, under the fillet as you go down.


6. Repeat with the other breast fillet in the same way.


7. Once both breast fillets are removed. Reveal the top of one thigh by peeling the skin back further.


8. Get a finger behind the knee joint and pull the leg through the skin on the lower leg.


9. Bent the leg back at the hip joint to dislocate the femur, and cut through the thigh meat to remove the leg.


10. To remove the foot, bend the ankle joint back on its self then cut between the bones to remove the foot. Pick off any remaining feathers and skin from the leg. Repeat with the other leg.


11. You now have your pigeon ready to cook. As you can see the legs on a pigeon are tiny and there is very little meat on them so the last few steps can be omitted.


Tomorrow, we’ll show you how to achieve the same thing but without using a knife.


Kev Palmer

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