Don’t worry; I’m not trying to take anyone job away here. I’m the farthest thing there is from being Chef Boy O Boy, but I do cook up the fish and game that I harvest. With the dove season here, I would like to share one recipe with you that will probably cause you to buy another case or two of bird shot because you’ll really like this one.
Believe it or not, this is a simple receipt that comes right off the bottle. During the goose season, I’ve used this on breast meat and holy cow, you would not believe it. Goose cooked properly will come out tasting like sirloin steak. What I fell into was that it works just as well for dove. I have to give credit though to Jim DaRosa of the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show. He found this recipe and tried it first.
You have to buy a bottle of Tones Canadian Steak Seasoning. Yes, this is the seasoning that you sprinkle on steaks before putting the in the broiler or on the grill.
On the back of the bottle is their marinade recipe. It’s simple. Combine in a zip lock bag two teaspoons of oil, two teaspoons of water, one teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and one teaspoon of Tones Canadian Steak Seasoning.
This is good for two full sized goose breasts or a pound of meat. So, for dove, it will be good for a couple dozen. If you’re making more, just double it up.
Now the recipe says to marinade the meat for at least a half hour. Goose breasts would be left in the marinade overnight. Now for the dove, I think that it overnight is too long so when dove is on the menu for dinner, I’ll prepare the breasts earlier that morning. I’ll also take the meat off the bone too before putting it in the marinade. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
Now, here is where it’s up to you to be creative or make the breasts the way you want.
I’ve had the breasts prepared where each is cut in half making them a bit thinner. Then in a wok, I would stir fry the breasts in hot oil. Cook it quickly and yet not completely. It only takes a minute or two depending on how many you are cooking at once. When the dove breasts are just shy of being done, take them out of the wok and put them on the side in a bowl.
Now stir fry some oriental vegetables. Prepackaged sauces and vegetables can be bought at the store where all you need is the meat. Cook up the vegetables till done then turn off the heat and toss in the dove breasts to warm them a bit more and get coated with the stir fry sauce. Don’t cook the meat anymore at this point.
Ladle this mixture of pure delight over a bed of buttered rice and dig in.
Now, same deal goes with the dove breast meat for this one. This time slice open a pepperchini pepper length wise and put one boneless breast piece inside the pepper cavity. Wrap it up with an half piece of bacon, secure it with a toothpick and broil it till the bacon is a little crisp.
The dove breast should be less than well done. Overcooking any wild game will make it tough. You want the meat to be medium rare. You can also cook them up on the grill. If the dove seems to dry out before the bacon is cooked then pre cook the bacon some before wrapping. A lot of this has to do with the thickness of the bacon and how your broiler or grill cooks. Oh boy, this is a great appetizer but good enough for a main course.
Other suggestions are to take the dove breasts, marinated as above and use them instead of meatballs in a Swedish Meatballs dish. Try dicing up the breasts and cover with your favorite BBQ sauce for sandwiches. You can even butterfly the breasts and grill them for a main course.
The real trick to enjoying dove breasts or any wild game for that matter is to make sure that they are not cooked to the point where they’re well done. This needs repeating. Cook the breasts to medium rare. These cooking suggestions are good for dove, goose, duck, venison and more. The dove breasts, being so small really won’t need a long stay in the marinade. I have to say though that it is so simple, that it adds to the enjoyment of the hunt. It’s never good to waste any of our precious recourses and I hope these suggestions will entice you to give them a try. So remember, don’t just shoot ‘em, eat ‘em! And with so many dove fields that can be found near by, that makes great hunting not that far away.