I arrived in London with a full heart and an empty stomach. I was just twelve years old.
It was to remain that way for several days (being hungry I mean, not being twelve – that lasted all year) until I developed a taste for pigeon. London fattens up a pigeon beautifully.
I’ve lived here now for thirty one years.
I’m not a rich man, but my needs are simple
Never did find no streets of gold, but I have written a best-selling cookbook.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it ?
101 ways to cook a pigeon.
If I’m honest with you, my favourite recipe’s still the very first one : Kentucky Fried Pigeon.
A word about catching pigeons. Don’t kill the first one you catch. He’s probably sick and he don’t make good eating. Him you got to keep alive. You ties a bit of string round his leg and then you lets him wander around near your feet. Now your pigeon’s a real nosey birdie, so them other pigeons is looking at him thinking “Coo I wonder what he knows what we don’t know ?” and soon enough their curiosity gets too much for them and they’s got to swoop down and find out what your first pigeon’s doing.
That’s where you come in with your net. You want a nice big old net, about three foot square so you don’t have to be too accurate with your throwing. A bit of lead shot tied into the edges and you’re ready to snaffle a right good feast.
Now you has got to kill your pigeon. It’s not nice, and I know there’ll be squeamish little birdies out there who don’t like the idea of putting a thin wire around the neck of a wild bird and pulling it hard until it slices clean through the sinews and bones of the pigeon’s neck … But that’s what it takes to slaughter your own pigeon. Besides they squawks rotten if you try and cook ’em live.
Once you got their head off of course the rest is easy.
You gives him a good plucking, then a quick slice with your knife down the front of the chest so he’s opened right up, then a nick at the naughties and a good delve and you’ve got his innards in the palm of your hand.
If they don’t come out first time, never mind. Wet your forefinger (get him good and wet mind, your pidgy wont thank you for bad lubrication) and shove good and hard up your pigeon’s posterior, and pull. His innards’ll be his outwards in no time.
Don’t throw ’em away mind, cause they makes for a very happy cat … and if you’re buying my second cookbook, you’ll be needing a lot of happy cats.
Now. Coat your pidgy in lard and flour, douse him generous with salt and pepper, then bung him in the vat of bubbling lard till he’s golden scrumptious.
Kentucky Fried Pigeon. It’s finger licking good.