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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

PALOMA TORCAZ WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR A DISH OF YOUNG CARAMELIZED PIGEONS

PALOMA TORCAZ -
Columba Palumbus - 
Bargas -
Los Cantos - 12.03.2015
OCast torcaza (Note: this has nothing to do with the Columba araucana, the Chilean pigeon today), Cat. tudó, tudon, Gal, Port. pomba, L. Columba palumbus, Eng. woodpigeon. Both the males and the females are gray on top with a green and white patch on the neck. Underneath they are pinkish. They are 40-42 cm (16”) long, has a wing span of 75-80 cm (30-32”) and weighs 450-550 g (about 1 lb). The eyes are bright yellow. They are the biggest pigeons in Europe.

Villanova reasserts this calling them tudones (big wood pigeons). They do not walk but waddle. This is due to overweight. Their feathers weigh more than their bones. They eat any kind of grains, seeds, berries, pine kernels and acorns. They live in the forests and go to the fields to feed.

They are migratory birds.  In the spring, they found all over Europe, except northern Scandinavia,. In the fall, they fly to the Middle East and Morocco. In the 15th C, Juan Pacheco, the Marquis of Villena and favorite of King Henry IV, owned villages and large landholdings in Albacete, Alicante and Murcia where wood pigeons are so abundant that no question as to what the marquis and his retinue ate when residing on his properties in eastern Spain.

Browning a Small Bird
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Normally, they are caught in nets. When roasted, they were carved in the same way as partridges. Wood pigeons are a major ingredient for gazpacho manchego, with quail, chicken and rabbit and other traditional dishes carried down from one generation to the next from time immemorial.

Avenzoar claimed wood pigeons cause melancholy and are coarse. Further, the woodpigeon is a symbol of love, independence and a vagabond’s life as they come go as they please. Reputedly, the Marquis of Villena was a great lover, independent and roamed as he pleased, as seen by the number of bastards he fathered. See tórtola.

[ES: “European Wood Pigeon.” Jul 26, 03; ES: Gains. Oct 5, 03; ES: “Paloma torcaz.” n/d; ES: Plana. <1998-2003>; <1998-2003>Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:138:189; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:51; and Villena/Calero. 2002:22b:28a]

For other pigeon recipes see blogs: Ánade published September 26, 2011; Canelade China published July 17, 2012; and Paloma published December 7, 2016.


YOUNG CARAMELIZED PIGEONS ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN
AL ANDALUS, #54 PLATO DE PICHONES DE PALOMA, p 42 
Pouring Egg Mixture Over Small Bird
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Ingredients

1 pigeon per person[1]
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp coriander oil for frying
¼ lb sugar
4 eggs
½ tsp saffron mashed and dissolved
½ tsp cloves
1 egg yolk per person



Garnish

½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped lavender
¼ tsp cloves


Preparation


Select fat pigeons. Clean them. Put enough oil in a pot to fry the pigeons. Add salt, pepper and coriander. When the oil is hot add the pigeons and fry until browned. 

Cover with water. Add sugar and cook until done.
Best four eggs with saffron and cinnamon and cover the contents of the pot with this.  Dot the dish with one egg yolk per person. Remove from heat and let sit 15-20 minutes.

Transfer the dish to a serving platter. Sprinkle with sugar, lavender and cinnamon before serving.

[1] Quail was used as pigeons were not available.

HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL ANDALUS, #54
 






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