Bran Stark’s Pigeon Pie
Though forced to endure a drastic change in his life, Bran Stark can still enjoy a hot pigeon pie while he watches direwolves fight over a bone in the corner. Pigeon is present in many other moments of uncertainty in Westeros, too: a homeless girl sells them in the streets, a king feasts on them moments before his demise, and several curious bannermen eat them while their young lord tries to prove his strength. Despite these somber settings, pigeons seem to represent something hopeful and light—even when fate would cast the future otherwise. (A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24 — Bran)
Makes 4 pies
1 1/2 pounds pigeon breast
1/2 pound porcini mushrooms
1 bunch green onions
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces Boursin cheese
Kosher salt and seasoned pepper to taste
1 roll phyllo dough (4 sheets)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1. Chop the breast meat, mushrooms, and green onions. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a pan. Sautee the chopped mixture over medium high heat for several minutes until meat is cooked. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add cream and cheese and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
2. Lay out 4 sheets of phyllo on a damp cloth and cover with another damp cloth.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F.
4. Place one sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Place one-fourth of the chilled meat mixture on the upper center of the dough. Fold over the sides and roll up. Butter outside of dough heavily. Repeat three times to make remaining pies.
5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and serve hot.
A Word of Wisdom: This dish may be better for feasts than for an everyday dinner, since it needs to partially cook a day ahead. You could also make it, bake it, and freeze it so it is ready to pop in a hot oven when guests are coming. Any game bird can be substituted for the pigeon.
Recipe and image courtesy The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew – More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (F+W Media, April 2012) by Alan Kistler