The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Dove Four Ways: Recipes For Winged Game

Hunting doves is relatively easy in comparison to other game birds. Go where the doves are, bring a shotgun with a lot of ammunition, and wait. Doves are quick little birds and do require some skill to shoot, however, anyone with rudimentary shotgun skills should be able to pick it up with a little practice and bag at least one or two birds. I hunt doves along a river corridor and have to be vigilant about where they fall. The brush is thick in most spots and the river is nearby so losing a bird is an unfortunate possibility. Friends with dogs help alleviate this problem and bring more meat to the table.

[Photo by Sara Westman]

An evening of hunting for me is successful when I can down five or more birds on my own. There are places you can reach your daily limit in minutes, but for me it takes at least a few hours and most of the shooting doesn’t happen until the last ten minutes.

Compared to other game, doves are quick to clean, especially when only harvesting the breast. Simply rip off both wings and pull the feathers off the breast area. Pull the skin off the breast and follow the bone to the base. Hook your thumb behind the breast plate and pull the entirety free. The head and innards should be left for you to discard or use to bait crawfish or better yet reward your hunting dog with a couple of yummy dove hearts. You can then wash, check for shot and filet the breast from the bone for cooking.

Here we describe four ways dove can be prepared and enjoyed by your family. I will preface this with the fact that I am no chef and these recipes are simple and in most cases quick to complete. Perhaps as my cooking skills improve I will be able to branch out into more elegant dishes.
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DOVE JERKY

Dove jerky makes for a quick snack while traveling or while hunting. What better way to show your prey how serious you are than eating their friends in front of them?
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Dove Breasts (The more the better)
¾ C Worcestershire Sauce
½ C Soy Sauce
½ C Dr. Pepper
1 ½ TSP Black Pepper
1 TSP Onion Powder
1 TSP Garlic Powder
Special Equipment: Food Dehydrator
Mix all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Add the breasts and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Pat them dry before placing them on your dehydrator. Set the dehydrator to 160° and allow several hours for dehydration. Dove jerky can be stored in plastic bags or Tupperware for several weeks.

SAUTEED DOVE BREASTS

Sautéed meat and vegetables is a quick and easy meal. Different spices can tailor this dish to any flavor profile. Unless you're a vegetarian; we can't make these taste like quinoa or whatever.
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½” Sliced dove breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
Generous sprinkle of Garlic Powder
1-2 heads broccoli, chopped
¼ C Worcestershire sauce
¼ C soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large cast iron skillet heat up 2 tablespoons cooking oil. Add in garlic and onions and cook until onion is translucent. Add the dove breasts and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the breasts, onion, and garlic and set aside. Add oil if necessary then add potatoes, broccoli, Worcestershire, and soy. Allow this to come to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add the dove, garlic, and onion and allow the sauces to cook off and be absorbed.

DOVE POPPERS

Poppers are great for parties and introducing wild game to those that are a little skiddish. Bacon makes everything better.
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Dove breasts
1 package bacon
10-15 jalapenos
1 package cream cheese, 8oz.
Salt and pepper
Special Equipment: Water soaked toothpicks
Sprinkle the dove breasts with salt and pepper and set aside. Slice the jalapenos in half and remove the vein and seeds. Spread a layer of cream cheese in each jalapeno slice then add a dove breast. Wrap each piece with bacon and use the toothpick hold it all together. Allow your grill to heat up then reduce to medium-high heat. Grill the poppers for 15-20 minutes rotating as necessary.

DOVES IN A BLANKET

Dove in a blanket is great for the kids. It takes a familiar concept of pigs in a blanket and it is easy to have them help in the kitchen
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Dove Breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package croissants
Spicy mustard (dipping sauce)
Pre-heat your oven to 350°. Heat cooking oil in a cast iron skillet, sear the dove breasts 1-2 minutes per a side, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Unroll your croissant dough and cut it with a pizza cutter to the appropriate size of each breast. Wrap each breast in a croissant and place them on a cookie sheet with the ends of the croissant on the bottom. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the croissant is golden brown. Serve with spicy mustard or a dipping sauce of your preference.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexander Crown is an avid hunter and outdoorsman based out of Boise, ID. His free time is spent gardening with his family and dabbling in marketing for Gemtech Silencers. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Boise State University but rarely uses it. Alexander served in the 3/509 PIR during OIF as an Infantryman who could talk on radios. Follow him on IG @acrown509.

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[Photo by Sara Westman]




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