2pigeon breastsskin-on (if you have skinless, wrap a piece of proscuitto or bacon around each one)
4small green onions
Small handful of purslane tips
1Tablespoonsalted or brined gooseberriescapers can be substituted
Kosher salt and pepper
1sprig of thyme
1cloveof garliclightly crushed
30 minutes or so before cooking, season the pigeon breasts with salt and pepper to taste and allow to sit uncovered in the fridge. Trim the tops from the green onions, then oil lightly and grill or saute whole until wilted. Reserve the onions. Remove the end from the pearl onions and blanch in salted water, remove and cool to room temperature, then peel and saute slowly until just soft and allow to cool.
Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a small cast iron pan or saute pan, and add the pigeon breasts, skin side down. Cook on medium-high heat until the skin is caramelized and browned, then remove the pigeon breasts from the pan and add the chestnut bolete caps and stems, cooking the caps on the colored side. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper, then quickly reheat the onions, toss in the gooseberries just to warm, and plate the dish.
Preferably allow the pigeon breasts to rest in a warm place for a few minutes while you plate the rest of the dish, to allow the juices to redistribute and tenderize the meat. Twirl the green onions together, then put down on the plate, nestling the pearl onions in with them. Sprinkle on the gooseberries and a few sprigs of purslane. Finally cut each breast in half to show off how perfectly you cooked them ;) arrange them with the rosy sides facing the diner, scatter over a few chestnut boletes and serve immediately.
This is just a sauteed bird with mushrooms and a couple onions. Don't let it scare you. Do get some inspiration and ideas for cooking small boletes. This is also a great example of how I like to use purslane: as a garnish to just about anything, it adds interest and depth to any dish.