Monday, August 11, 2014

Medieval Pigeon Pie Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes



"Look, the pie!"
―Queen Margaery Tyrell

Pigeon pie is a traditional pie served at wedding feasts. Pigeon pies are enormous in size and contain a flock of living pigeons inside, which are released when the husband cuts it open.

Game of Thrones Season 4- HBO TV Series

A pigeon pie is served at the wedding feast following the marriage of King Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell. Joffrey cuts it open with a swing of Widow's Wail, releasing most of the pigeons but also killing some others. When Joffrey dies at the feast, Tyrion sarcastically blames it on the pigeon pie.

Origin of Pigeon Pie

Pigeon pie is a savory game pie made of pigeon meat and various other ingredients traditional to French cuisine and present in other European cuisines. It has been eaten at least as early as 1670 in French cuisine.

Before the late 19th century in the United States, pigeon pie was a common dish. Archival records show that pigeon pie was a traditional dish for the American holiday of Thanksgiving, though is currently uncommon at Thanksgiving meals. Similarly, during the earlier part of the 19th century pigeon pie was a common Christmas meal in Detroit, but later was replaced by other meats.

The reviewers in The Pacific Northwest Quarterly of the 1976 The Homestead Cookbook edited by Victoria Paul, noted that without publications of cookbooks like it, the traditional dish of pigeon pie would become culturally extinct in the United States.

Similar dishes to pigeon pie exist in other cultures. In Morocco it is called bastila. Early versions of the traditional Canadian dish of tourtière, currently made with meats such as pork or beef, were probably made of pigeon, likely the now extinct Passenger Pigeon.


Prep: 1½ hours Baking: 30 minutes
Serves 6 to 8

Pairs well with Buttered Carrots, Sweet Pumpkin Soup, and red wine

Pigeon meat is dark, like duck, although not nearly as fatty. The silky texture of the meat is the real showstopper—wonderfully soft and tender, complementing the light, flaky pastry crust. Although we used the suggested spices from a medieval pigeon pie recipe, we made ours with vegetables too, much like a chicken pot pie, so it oozes with vegetables and a creamy sauce. Because of the richness of the pigeon, a small slice will satisfy, and it’s best paired with an assortment of sides.


5 pigeons, cleaned and dressed
A few fresh cloves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), well washed and thinly sliced
1 medium turnip, diced (about 1/2 to taste cups total)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon mace
Salt and ground black pepper
1 batch Medieval Pastry Dough, unbaked, rolled
Beaten egg for glaze (optional) into 2 rounds


1) Put the pigeons in a large pot and just cover them with water. Throw in the cloves, simmer for around 45 minutes, and drain, reserving the broth.

2) Pluck the meat from the breasts.

3) Cut it into long strips and set it aside. (There is so little meat on the rest of the pigeon that the carcasses can be discarded after this.)

4) Preheat the oven to 375°F.

5) In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the leeks until they are soft, but not brown.

6) Add the turnip and mushrooms and stir until the pieces are all coated in butter.

7) Add a splash of the reserved pigeon broth, then cover and simmer until the turnips are soft.

8) Make the roux, then pour in the chicken stock.

9) Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and is smooth.

10) Whisk in the cream, mace, and salt and pepper.

11) Pour your cooked vegetables and pigeon meat into this creamy sauce and stir well.

12) Grease a pie tin and line the base and sides with a round of pastry dough.

13) Prick the base of the pastry several times with a fork.

14) Pour the filling into the pastry shell.

15) Brush the rim of it with beaten egg or water, and place the second pastry round onto the pie.

16) Trim the excess pastry and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. Make four small holes in the center of the pastry lid and brush with the remaining egg, if using.

17) Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

What is Pigeon Meat or Squab?

Pigeon meat is usually considered a delicacy, squab is tender, moist and richer in taste than many commonly consumed poultry meats, but there is relatively little meat per bird, the meat being concentrated in the breast. Squab is dark meat, and the skin is fatty, like that of duck. The meat is widely described as tasting like dark chicken. The meat is very lean, easily digestible, and "rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins". It has been described as having a "silky" texture, as it is very tender and fine-grained. It has a milder taste than other game, and has been described as having a mild berry flavor.

Squab's flavor lends itself to complex red or white wines. The 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking cautions that if squab is cooked beyond medium-rare, its flavor becomes 'distinctly "livery"'.

In culinary terminology, squab is a young domestic pigeon, typically under 4 weeks old, or its meat. The term is probably of Scandinavian origin; the Swedish word skvabb means "loose, fat flesh". It formerly applied to all dove and pigeon species, such as the Wood Pigeon, the Mourning Dove, and the now-extinct Passenger Pigeon, and their meat. More recently, squab meat comes almost entirely from domesticated pigeons. The meat of dove and pigeon game birds hunted primarily for sport is rarely called squab.

The practice of domesticating pigeon as livestock may have come from the Middle East; historically, squabs or pigeons have been consumed in many civilizations, including Ancient Egypt, Rome and Medieval Europe. Although squab has been consumed throughout much of recorded history, it is generally regarded as exotic, not as a contemporary staple food; there are more records of its preparation for the wealthy than for the poor.

The modern squab industry uses utility pigeons. Squabs are raised until they are roughly a month old, when they reach adult size but have not yet flown, before being slaughtered.


Have you tried Sanza Starks' favorite lemon cake, or Daenerys Targaryen mouth-watering honeyfingers? Then you are missing a lot!

If you are a true fan of the world famous Game of Thrones HBO TV series.

Taste the food at the King's Landing. Buy the A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook at using this link and you get a 10% discount and FREE shipping if you order the hardcover version.

A. Murray, Keith; Murray, Shirley J. (Apr 1978). "[Review] The Homestead Cookbook by Virginia Paul". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly 69 (2): pp. 94–95.

Green, Aliza (2005). Field Guide to Meat: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Meat, Poultry, and Game Cut. Quirk Books. ISBN 978-1-59474-017-6.

"Monuments to the Birds: Dovecotes and Pigeon Eating in the Land of Fields". Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture (University of California Press) 5 (2): 50–59. Spring 2005.

Woolgar, C.M.; Serjeantson, Dale, Waldron, Tony (2006). Food in medieval England: diet and nutrition. Medieval history and archaeology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927349-2.

Watch Heston Blumenthal visits AFC Wimbledon to see if the crowd like his medieval pigeon pie. Next he alters recipe to make a contemporary version.

Have you tasted the Pulled Pork Parfait Original Recipe at Miller Park?

Are you interested in Culinary Physics? Watch the FREE video tutorials at Culinary Physics Lecture Series.

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