For a good number of us the first week in September is filled with activities surrounding hunting license procurement, shell decisions for heavy or light loads, and late summer’s ritualistic cleaning of the trusty 870. Dove hunting in the Llano Estacado is a rite of passage. If fall’s Friday night lights mean that autumn has arrived in our area, then Dove Season’s sounding shots are its Paul Revere.
Dove season, in addition to the farmers markets we always talk about, is one of the freshest ways to eat locally. Here’s a few tasty recipes you can pull from this weekend if you’re looking to get your September fix:
We know this is an old standard, but it might be good info if you’re new to the sport. Everyone probably has their own special way to fix these, but we’re bringing you Texas Monthly’s version because you know it’s been tested.
- 15 whole plucked dove breasts
- garlic salt
- black pepper
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 15 jalapeno slices, each slice halved (fresh or canned)
- 2 packages regular-sliced bacon, cut in half
With a paring knife, separate breasts from breastbones to make 30 lobes. Sprinkle very lightly with garlic salt and pepper. Take a breast lobe, some cream cheese, and a jalapeno slice and wrap in bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Grill over mesquite, oak, or charcoal for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and continue grilling until bacon is crisp. Serves 8 to 10. Salt and pepper to taste.
Full Recipe Found, here, at TexasMonthly.com
Easy Sauteed Quail
This one’s pretty straight forward. It’s great if you’re looking for something that can be prepared in the kitchen. It’s something a little more upscale, maybe not the dish you want to make for NFL kickoff weekend. However, if you’re trying to get your wife into eating game, this is the recipe for you:
- de-boned dove breasts
- black pepper
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 box wild rice
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup of white cooking wine
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
Soak de-boned breasts overnight in milk and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook wild rice according to directions on box. Set aside. Remove dove from milk. Sprinkle with black pepper and paprika and roll in flour. Fry quickly in butter until golden brown. Remove dove. Pour off half of the drippings. Saute onion and green pepper in same skillet. Place dove back in skillet on top of onion and pepper. Add wine and soup. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve on bed of rice.
See this dove recipe and more, here, at AL.com.
Beer Battered Fried Dove Breasts
If you looked at the last recipe and thought it was missing a certain kind of ‘Great Plains’ something, then this one is for you. You’ll be able to fire up the outdoor burner and chicken-fry those tasty bits of Llano Estacado goodness.
- 30 dove breasts, bone in
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt 1
- (12 ounce) can beer
- salt and pepper
Rinse the dove breasts under cold water until the water runs clear. Pat the dove breasts dry with paper towel and set aside on a plate. In a medium sized pot, wide enough to hold about 8 dove breasts at a time, add the vegetable oil and begin heating it on medium flame. The wider your pot, the more oil you will need to completely submerge the dove breasts. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly whisk in the beer until the liquid is uniform and the consistency of a thick syrup. Using your fingers or a fork, dip one breast into the batter until it is uniformly covered. Dip one side of the breast into the hot oil to see if it immediately sizzles. If it doesn’t, wait for the oil to get hotter. Keep testing with the same dove breast, then add more breasts, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Once one side of the breast is golden brown, turn it over and cook the other side until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes total. Cover a plate with paper towel. Remove the breasts from the pot with a fork or slotted spoon and place on the paper towel. Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Repeat until all of the dove breasts are cooked and serve immediately.
See this recipe and more here, at Food.com.
Sweet Italian Dove
This one is another one for the outdoor grill.
- 10 – 15 dove breasts
- 1 strip of bacon for every dove
- 1 bottle zesty Italian dressing
- 12 – 16 oz brown sugar
- cold beer
Combine the brown sugar and dressing. Stir well. Add the bacon and the doves. Lightly stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate 4 – 5 hours. Wrap the doves with the bacon and secure with tooth picks. Grill over medium heat until the bacon is crispy. Drink the cold beer while grilling. Serve and enjoy.
If you’ve never liked eating game, just know, you might not have had it prepared well. While we give you a quick resource for preparation here, there are tons of time-tested recipes out there for cooking dove to your taste preferences. Explore the links in this blog to find something you like. By doing so, you’ll be experiencing your Local Llano foodshed like never before.