Crispy Fried Pigeon and Chateau Palmer
Crispy Fried Pigeon is a renowned Cantonese dish. Made with squab pigeons of about one month of age, the meat is tender, juicy and is much appreciated for its tonifying effects and health benefits. This dish can be made by deep-frying the pigeon, or deep-frying after pre-cooking or pre-roasting.
Deep-frying raw pigeon is rarely used, as it is a quick fix method that does not yield the authentic taste of crispy pigeons. The more common method is pre-cooking the pigeons in a marinade made with stock and spices, to imbue the meat with flavours before deep-frying the birds. This process also helps preserve the tenderness of the meat and prevent loss of moisture during frying. Pre-roasting the pigeons is a method resembling that of the Peking duck: before frying, the birds are roasted in low to medium heat in an oven to seal in moisture and preserve the natural texture of the meat.
The succulent pigeon meat below the crispy skin has an intense game flavour, and is best paired with a bottle of Château Palmer of Margaux, Bordeaux. Delicate and silkily tannic, the wine will set off the crunchy, caramelised skin whereas the rich taste of the pigeon meat is perfect savoured with the dark fruits and spiced aromas of cabernet sauvignon. Early 2016. Austin Zhang