- - Juice of 1 lemon
- - 12 oz. Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes, peeled
- - ⅔ cup PLUS 2 tbsp. butter, divided
- - 1 ¼ cups milk
- - ⅓ cup Maille Walnut Mustard
- - Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- - ⅓ cup duck fat or lard
- - 3 wood pigeons*
- - Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- - Chopped toasted hazelnuts
Pascal Aussignac’s roster of fine venues has grown to include Cellar Gascon, romantic bistro Comptoir Gascon, Le Cercle, Cigalon and Baranis. Club Gascon remains Pascal's flagship restaurant, holding a Michelin star.
*Tip: Wood pigeons can be found in Asian or gourmet markets. Quail, squab or Cornish hens can be substituted.
**If oven-proof skillet is not available, before baking, thoroughly wrap handle of skillet with heavy-duty aluminium foil.
- Fill large bowl with water, then stir in lemon juice. Add artichokes and let stand 30 minutes. Drain artichokes, pat dry and coarsely chop.
- Melt ⅔ cup butter in medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until golden. Stir in artichokes and cook until almost tender. Stir in milk. Bring just to the boiling point, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until artichokes are very tender.
- Process artichoke mixture in blender until very smooth and, if desired, pass through fine sieve. Turn into bowl, then stir in Maille Walnut Mustard and nutmeg. Set aside and keep warm.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Melt duck fat in large, heavy-duty oven-proof skillet**. Season pigeons with salt and pepper and brown pigeons over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until golden. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and turn pigeons to coat.
- Put skillet in oven and roast pigeons 10 minutes or until desired doneness (generally rare/medium-rare). Remove from oven and let stand covered at least 5 minutes.
Carve pigeon from the bone and serve with artichoke puree. Garnish, if desired, with chicory or endive and hazelnuts.