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9 Best Dove Recipes You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Texas Monthly

The adage ‘everything is better wrapped in bacon’ doesn’t apply here.

Dove meat is more versatile than you might think. While the thought of a bacon-wrapped dove breast will surely make your mouth water, think about trying something new with your next harvest.

These nine dove recipes are sure to become tried and true favorites.

1. Dove & Fig Kabobs

Georgia Pellegrini
Georgia Pellegrini

What you need:

  • 16 dove breasts
  • 16 fresh figs or dried figs reconstituted in water
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce

What to do:

  1. Carve dove breasts from the bone and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add the red wine, barbecue sauce and teriyaki sauce and whisk together.
  3. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the marinade to a bowl and dip the dove breasts into the liquid. Let soak for 1-4 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, set the oven to broil.
  6. Slice the figs in half and skewer the dove breasts and fresh figs.
  7. Place on a sheet tray with a rack and cook in the oven for 10 minutes, rotating the skewers halfway through.
  8. Let cool and serve at your dinner party! These are great appetizers.

Recipe courtesy of: Georgia Pellegrini

2. Hot Fried Doves

Texas Monthly
Texas Monthly

What you need:

  • 12 whole doves, plucked and gutted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 4 thinly slice jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup fresh herb leaves, such as parsley or marjoram
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • oil or lard, for frying

What to do:

  1. Halve the birds, effectively removing the breastbone.
  2. Soak the halves in buttermilk for 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the birds from the buttermilk, season well with salt and pepper, and dip in flour.
  4. Shake off the excess flour and refrigerate them for at least half an hour.
  5. Heat a few inches of oil to 375 degrees in a fryer or large pot.
  6. Melt the butter, then combine it with honey, garlic and hot sauce in a large bowl.
  7. Fry the birds in batches until golden brown and crisp, approximately 3 or 4 minutes.
  8. Drain on a paper towels.
  9. Toss the fried birds with the melted butter mixture, add the jalapeños and herbs.
  10. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of: Texas Monthly

3. Huckleberry Grilled Doves

Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.
Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.

What you need:

  • 12-16 doves
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups blueberries or huckleberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

What to do:

  1. Salt doves well and let them rest while you make the sauce.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the butter. Sauté the onions for two minutes, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Mix in the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring gently.
  3. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool a little. Pour it into a blender and puree, then return to clean pot. Keep warm over low heat.
  4. Coat the doves in the oil and get your grill very hot. Grill the doves breast side up, with the cover down, over medium-high to high heat for two minutes. Lift the cover and cover them with the BBQ sauce. Cover the grill again and grill for another 8 to 10 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your doves. Remove to a platter and add a little more sauce.

Recipe courtesy of: Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.

4. Orange & Rosemary Grilled Doves

In Sock Money Slippers
In Sock Money Slippers

What you need:

  • 18 to 20 whole doves plucked*
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice (about 4 large oranges)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch salt

What to do:

  1. Prepare grill. Brush doves with oil and season with salt and pepper. While the grill is heating, prepare the glaze by combining the orange juice, orange zest, rosemary, honey, pinch of salt, and pepper. Bring to a good simmer over heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until it has reduced and thickened.
  2. When the grill is ready, place the doves on the grill, breast up. Grill for three minutes with the cover on. Remove cover, do not flip, and brush the glaze on each bird. Cover and grill for 9 to 11 minutes depending on how well cooked you like your dove.
  3. Remove the doves to a serving platter.

Recipe courtesy of: In Sock Money Slippers

5. Grilled Doves, Portuguese Style

Leite's Culinaria
Leite’s Culinaria

What you need:

  • 4 to 5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 to 5 bay leaves, crumbled fine
  • 4 to 5 small hot chile peppers (ideally piri-piri peppers, but Thai are fine)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 cup sweet white wine, ideally white Port or Madeira
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 12 to 16 whole doves, or substitute 4 to 8 whole squab
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving

What to do:

  1. Place all of the ingredients except the honey, doves, and black pepper in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, about a minute. Pour the marinade  and the doves into 1 or 2 large resealable freezer bags and toss in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, transfer the doves to a plate and bring marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. If you want a hit of sweet and a little spicy, like a Portuguese BBQ sauce, add the honey.
  3.  Get your grill really hot. You want the temperature to be at least 550°F (287°C) although 600°F (315°C) is better.
  4. Place the doves on the grill, breast side up. Cover the grill and cook the doves, undisturbed, for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on how done you like them. Around four minutes will result in medium-rare doves.
  5. Remove the birds from the grill and let them rest for at least a few minutes. Pour the rest of the warm sauce over the breats and grind some black pepper on top.

Recipe courtesy of: Leite’s Culinaria

6. Helen’s Dove and Dumplings

Mobile Bay Magazine
Mobile Bay Magazine

What you need:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped with leaves
  • 3 small onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 25 doves, cleaned
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • 3/4 cup water
  • chopped parsley, optional for garnish

What to do:

  1. Boil chicken broth with celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, salt and pepper.
  2. Add doves and simmer until tender, about 20 – 30 minutes. Remove doves to cool. Return broth to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, lightly flour a work surface. Mix flour with water to form a ball of dough, not too sticky.
  4. Roll dough into a very thin rectangle. Cut into strips. (A pizza cutter works well.) Pull each strip up from surface, stretching slightly to make even thinner.
  5. Drop strips into the boiling broth one at a time. Cook for approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Shred dove meat. When dumplings are cooked, add shredded dove meat to broth and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with parsley. Serves 8.

Recipe courtesy of: Mobile Bay Magazine

7. Cornbread Casserole with Doves

Grit
Grit Magazine

What you need:

  • 8 dove breasts
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 cups corn bread stuffing mix
  • 1 cup upland game bird stock or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

What to do:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. Saute celery, onion, and parsley in butter over medium heat until tender.
  3. Add remaining stuffing ingredients. Mix until moistened.
  4. Place half of stuffing mixture in prepared casserole. Arrange dove breasts over stuffing.
  5. Cover completely with remaining stuffing mixture.
  6. Bake, uncovered, until dove is cooked through and tender, about 1 hour.

Recipe courtesy of: Grit Magazine

8. Dove a la Mancha

Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.
Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.

What you need:

  • 12 doves, or 4 to 8 squab or teal
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 12 to 24 sage leaves
  • About 1/4 cup melted bacon fat, butter or duck fat
  • Spanish smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

  1. Coat the doves with olive oil and salt them well. Stuff each breast with sage and a bay leaf.
  2. Get your grill hot. Set the doves breast side up and cook them over medium-high heat, with the grill cover closed, for six minutes. Open the grill cover and turn the doves over. Brush the birds with some bacon fat. Let them cook this way for a minute or two, just to get a little crispy. Turn the doves on their sides and grill for another minute or two — for each side. Brush with more bacon fat.
  3. Dust with the smoked paprika and the black pepper and remove from grill. Let them rest for five minutes.

Recipe courtesy of: Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.

9. Dove Tortellini

Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.
Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.

What you need:

For the dough

  • 10 ounces of all-purpose flour, about 2 cups
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce of water, about 3 tablespoons

For the filling

  • 6 doves
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons duck fat, butter or olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  •  1/4 cup sweet white wine or sherry
  • pinch of celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • black pepper to taste

For the sauce

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 8 juniper berries, mashed
  • Grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, for garnish

What to do:

  1. To make the dough, make a well in the flour and drop the eggs and water in. Scramble the eggs in the center with a fork and then incorporate the flour until you get a shaggy mass. Knead this well for 6 to 8 minutes, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for an hour.
  2. To make the filling, salt the doves well while you heat up the duck fat in an ovenproof pan. Pat the birds dry and brown them well on all sides. When you start this process, preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the doves are browned, add the garlic cloves to the pan and pop it into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the doves and garlic to cool. Set the pan on the stove and deglaze with the sweet wine. Scrape down the pan to incorporate everything. Let this boil for a few minutes, then turn off the heat. Pick off all the meat from the doves.
  4. Chop the meat and garlic roughly and add it to a food processor. Add the celery seed, rosemary and black pepper, as well as some of the liquid and fat from the roasting pan and mix everything into a fairly smooth paste. Taste and add salt if you need to.
  5. Roll out the dough in a pasta maker or with a rolling pin. Use something round to cut out circles for tortellini. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the circle and fold it into a half-moon, and wet the edges with a little water to seal. This recipe makes about 40 to 45 tortelli, or twice that many tortellini if you make them small. Set each one on a baking sheet that you’ve dusted with semolina flour or fine cornmeal.
  6. To finish, melt the butter in a wide pan and add the juniper and rosemary. Keep this over low heat while you boil some water. Boil the tortellini until they float, and then for 1 minute more. Move to the butter, toss to coat and put them on the plate. Grate some cheese over them and serve.

Recipe courtesy of: Hunter. Angler. Gardener. Cook.

It is time to get creative with your dove recipes. Dove season is upon us; get out and get some birds and treat yourself.

NEXT: How to Preserve Your Harvest: Canning Venison [PICS]

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