“[Ichabod Crane’s] mouth watered as he looked upon this sumptuous promise of luxurious winter fare. In his devouring mind’s eye he pictured the pigeons were snugly put to bed in a comfortable pie and tucked in a coverlet of crust…
My fondest memories of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow are watching the animated movie with Daniella and, of course, the Scooby-Doo special. I was a huge Scooby-Doo fan, and the Sleepy Hollow episode was one of the best and scariest. Surprisingly, it actually follows the book (a little) – it definitely has the feasts and parties. It wasn’t until I was older that I finally read the short story.
I was torn between what to do for this post. Before I moved from the Bronx I had a smoker. So my first thought was to do smoked beef. I even made it and documented the recipe. The only problem is not many people have access to a smoker, so I realized it wasn’t a post many could follow! So back to the drawing board. Luckily, with this book I had a lot of options.
Daniella is obsessed, and I mean obsessed with doughnuts. Always has been. I remember driving home from church– I was probably 6 – and Daniella throwing temper tantrums over doughnuts. It had to be Shipley’s, all the time. Some things never change.
Me, I love squab. Being as Daniella lives in London and has adopted an English accent, I decided to go with pigeon pie. And damn was I glad I did because these are delicious!
I set mine in mini cocottes, but you can also use disposable molds.
FOR PIE FILLING
- 1 squab
- 55 g sweet potato
- 50 g cipollini onion
- 3 g sage
- 40 g parsnips
- 250 g red wine
- 200 g chicken stock
- 1 egg
- 432 g flour
- 48 g pork lard
- 3 g salt
- 87 g water
TO MAKE THE PIE FILLING
Take the legs off the squab and remove the thigh bone but leave the drumstick fully in tact. Take the breasts off the cage just as you would with a chicken.
Sear the breast and legs in a heavy-bottom sautée pan.
Remove from pan and add sweet potato, parsnips. Cook for 3 mins and then add cipollini. You want to develop color.
Cook onion 2 mins and add chopped sage and red wine.
Reduce au sec (until nearly dry).
Add chicken bouillon and cook 3 mins.
Thicken with slurry cook another 3 mins. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
TO MAKE THE DOUGH
Incorporate lard into flour until in small marble sized pieces.
Add water and mix until just incorporated.
Let rest at least 20 mins.
ASSEMBLE AND COOK PIES
Preheat oven to 375.
Roll dough through a pasta maker or thinly with a rolling pin.
Cut discs out with a large ring mold. This will be the top of your pie.
Take your dough and form it into your cocottes or whatever container you are using.
Fill the pie crusts with your pigeon mixture.
Take the leg of the squab and stick it straight up in the center.
Take the pie top and cut a little slit in the middle.
Carefully work the leg through the slit.
Beat an egg and brush egg wash on the top of the pie crust.
Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown.