200g chestnut mushrooms, washed and dried
1 tablespoon picked thyme leaves
30ml Wardington’s Original Mulberry, Damson & Winter Spiced gin liqueur
4 woodpigeon breast fillets
500g crown prince squash or butternut squash
2 sticks of salsify, peeled and each stick cut into 3 equal sized pieces
250ml full bodied red wine
1 shallot, finely chopped
150ml Wardingtons mulberry, damson & winter spiced gin liqueur
Season the pigeon breasts with salt and pepper then gently sear for 30 seconds on either side in a hot pan with a little rapeseed oil and butter. Remove from the pan and chill.
For the mushroom duxelles, take the mushrooms and pulse briefly in a food processer. Heat a heavy based pan until hot and add 30g of butter, then the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Cook until the mixture is dry.
Deglaze with the gin liqueur and cook until dry. Season and leave to cool.
For the pancakes, beat the egg and milk together, then add the sieved flour. Season with salt, add the chives and gently cook 2 pancakes as thin as possible. Leave to cool.
To assemble a wellington, lay a pancake onto the cling film and smother it with a quarter of the mushroom duxelles.
Place a stack of two pigeon breasts into the centre of a pancake. Roll the pancake over the top of the breasts and into a cylinder shape. Roll tight and repeat for the three other stacks.
Roll the puff pastry out on a well-floured surface until it is around 4mm thick and 10″ squared.
Take the pigeon and place in the centre of the pastry and brush with egg yolk. Roll the pastry over the top of the pigeon stack until the puff pastry meets on either side. Overlap and cut with a sharp knife. Press the join firmly together.
Keeping the join side down on the work surface, press the pastry together on either end to form a tight fit around the pigeon, cut the loose pastry away, leaving an inch. Pinch the edges together and wrap the spare pastry underneath the wellington.
Glaze with egg yolk and place in the fridge for 15 minutes, glaze again with egg yolk before cooking at 190ºC for 20 minutes until crisp and golden.
For the salsify, take a heavy based saucepan and sauté the salsify in 20g butter, add the minced garlic, thyme and honey and cook until the honey starts to caramelize add the red wine and simmer for 20 minutes until the salsify is tender.
Diced the squash and cook in an oven at 170c for 25 minutes until soft then blitz in a food processor until smooth, with 50g of butter, season with salt and white pepper and pass through a fine sieve.
For the sauce put the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots until golden and caramelised, about 10 mins.
Add the gin liqueur and herbs and simmer for 10 mins, or until reduced by half
Pour in the stock and continue to cook until reduced by half again, then strain, discarding the shallots and herbs.
Transfer the sauce into a new pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, then season to taste.