Unless pigeons are quite young, they are better braised or stewed in broth than cooked in any other manner. In fact, I consider it always the best way of cooking them. Tie them in shape; place slices of bacon at the bottom of a stew-pan; lay in the pigeons, side by side, all their breasts uppermost; add a sliced carrot, an onion, with a clove stuck in, a tea-spoonful of sugar, and some parsley, and pour over enough stock to cover them. If you have no stock, use boiling water. Now put some thin slices of bacon over the tops of the pigeons; cover them as closely as possible, adding boiling water or stock when necessary. Let them simmer until they are very tender. Serve each pigeon on a thin piece of buttered toast, with a border of spinach, or make little nests of spinach on pieces of toast, putting a pigeon into each nest.
* If the fowls are not tender, add a little water, and stew them slowly until they are. - Ed.
Never roast pigeons unless they are young and tender. After they are well tied in shape, drawing the skin over the back, tie thin slices of bacon over the breasts, and put a little piece of butter inside each pigeon. File them on a skewer, and roast them before a brisk fire until thoroughly done, basting them with butter.
Split the pigeons at the back, and flatten them with the cutlet bat; season, roll them in melted butter and bread-crumbs, and broil them, basting them with butter. Or, cut out the breasts (fillets), and broil them alone. Serve them on thin pieces of toast. Make a gravy of the remaining portions of the pigeons, and pour it over them.