Wood pigeon on toast. Sautéed bok choy and smashed celeriac on the side.
How do I love wood pigeon? I love it for its gamey taste: just this side of grouse (but still only slightly livery -- not more livery than liver, like the dread mink whale). I love it cuz it's sized perfectly for a solo diner. I love it cuz, like all game birds, it's ridiculously easy to cook if you don't get it in your head to make a pithivier or something. And I love to eat it at home alone, so I can just pick it up and gnaw instead of daintily carving it.
And, when you're done . . . stock.
One of the fun things about cooking (I'm not being faux naif here: this is old to you guys but new to me) is that you get to perfect dishes, correcting for mistakes in past attempts. I now have this wood pigeon dish down.
The BBC recipe I use recommends Chianti as the wine you use in cooking the bird (they have you use much too much, BTW -- which leaves more to drink when adjusted to reality).
2013 Fattoria Corzano e Paterno Chianti Riserva "I Tre Borri"
Having had a wine that was arguably too old last night, tonight I moved to a wine that is arguably too young.
This was one of the last vintages in which this 100% Sangiovese was even called a Chianti (the maker has since declassified it to a Rosso Tuscano). I don't think 100% Sangiovese wines should even be allowed to be called "Chiantis"; I want the blend (I even wish they still required white grapes instead of outlawing them, as they now do).
But this wine is no fiasco. It has that characteristic Chianti dusty (black cherry) fruit, and those dusty Chianti tannins. (Drinking Chianti, you'd think Tuscany lies under a perpetual dust layer.) I was afraid this product of a transplanted Swiss professional family would be too Modern, but their approach of using large oak barrels gives just the right amount of toast on the finish (also, of course, there remains that characteristic Chianti acid jolt). Anyway, while the Founder was a Swiss architect on a lark, the current generation are dedicated Tuscan farmers: their olive oil is probably better known than their wine. And they are strictly organic (the only fertilizer they use comes from their sheep), although not "natural".
This isn't anything like my favorite wine. But it's hugely enjoyable. (And it's drinking fine now.)