Along with turkey shoots, pigeon shoots were a favorite sport in most colonial villages. Partially as a result, the carrier pigeon was wiped out long ago.

Today pigeon shooting as a sport is limited to the western United States, where the band-tail pigeon is a well-known sporting bird. In the East pigeon shooting is apt to be limited to helping a farmer reduce the mess around his barn.

Not many easterners think of pigeon as food, yet they will pay a respectable price for squab under glass, and that’s young pigeon, usually raised for market. The trouble with pigeon is that when it gets beyond the squab stage — and a pigeon can live for a goodly number of years — it definitely is tough. The best solution for an old pigeon is a good strong marinade, such as “the Red Marinade” (which is included in this collection). Pigeons should marinate for a fair length of time; a young one for 12 to 24 hours, older birds for a couple of days. Pigeon meat is fine-grained and lean; it takes well to strong-flavored sauces.

Depending on appetites and place of the meal, 1 or 2 squabs may serve 1 person. One older, larger, bird may be enough for 1 entree. Pigeons weigh 7 to 10 ounces.

Keywords: Information, Poultry, British, Wild Game, Squab or Pigeon

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