*WARNING* If you’re opposed to hunting, this probably isn’t the post/blog for you.
It has been way too long since I’ve had fresh dove to eat. We were able to freeze a few after last year’s hunt, but those have been long gone too. Well, my friends, I’m happy to report we now have some delicious birds to eat. The husband was able to to hunt with some friends this past week and I couldn’t wait to get these on the grill.
This isn’t a new recipe and I’m sure any of you that have eaten dove have had them prepared this way. However, I’ll walk you through our favorite way to cook dove breast. First, clean and wash the dove. Make sure to check for pellets because it’s so annoying biting into one.
While many people do not debone the dove breast, I personally prefer to eat my meat bone-free. So, I take the extra time to remove the breast from the bone. Simply slice the meat as close as possible on each side of the breastbone. I usually make the slices and then gently separate the meat from the bone with my fingers to try to get as much of the meat as possible
You’re left with two pieces of meat. If I have time, I sometimes will then brine the meat in a ice water bath with just a little bit of kosher salt. This will help draw some of the blood out of the dove and remove some of the “game” flavor of wild meat. We ALWAYS brine any wild duck that we eat. I usually leave it in the brine for a few hours and then rinse them well. I’ll then marinate them in some Italian dressing for extra flavor. (I know this is already sounding like a lot of work, but it’s so worth it.)
Next, take out your bacon and cut the slices in half. You’ll need one half for each dove. Slice your jalapeno and set aside. Now it’s time to assemble. Place a couple of slices of the jalapeno on top of a dove half. Add a small drop of cream cheese and place the other dove half on top. Wrap the whole thing in a bacon piece and fasten with a toothpick.
*Hint, soak your toothpicks in water for about 10 minutes. This helps them to slide in and out easier and not burn while on the grill.
Preheat your grill and place dove on when it’s hot. Careful not to let the flames constantly lick the meat or you will end of up burnt bacon. Cooking time depends on your temperature, but ours are usually done in 15-20 minutes.
- 20 Dove
- 10 slices of bacon, cut in 1/2
- 2 jalapenos, sliced thinly
- 4 oz cream cheese (give or take)
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- handful of ice
- 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
- Clean dove and remove all feathers. Slice meat off the breastbone. Set aside. Combine 2 cups water with Kosher salt and stir until salt is dissolved. Pour the water/salt combo in a large bowl and and a handful of ice. Add dove to the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for a 2-3 hours. Drain the dove and thoroughly rinse. Place dove back in bowl and cover with Italian Dressing. Let the dove marinate for a few more hours or overnight.
- Cut bacon slices in half and slice jalapenos. Place a couple of jalapeno strips on top of a dove half. Add a small amount of cream cheese and place other dove half on top. Wrap whole dove in bacon and fasten with toothpick.
- Preheat grill. Add dove poppers once hot. Depending on temperature, cook for about 15-20 minutes, flipping half way through.