September 2018
Your Next Meal From the Wildside

It’s Dove Season!

A dove shoot is fun for the whole family and can provide many tasty meals.

Once school has started back, you know what is coming next. Dove season starts this month. By September, daily schedules become set as classwork, homework and after-school activities increase. By the end of the first month of school all of these new responsibilities can be overwhelming. Keeping a predictable routine during the school year is important, but loading up and taking your children to a dove shoot can be a much-needed break for the entire family.

Dove shoots are usually a great choice for young children because even though it is a hunt, they can still be kids and have fun. Of course, Rolley Len and Cason think that the more kids there are, the better. Hours pass quickly while they run around and play with new and old friends, which is great because dove shoots last for hours.

Hunting can take a lot of time and patience, but knowing where your next meal is coming from provides food security. For some people, a dove shoot is just for fun, while others are aiming to put dinner on the table. If you have more than you can use, you can always share with your neighbors or with someone in need.

If you are doing the cooking, remember there are many creative ways to prepare dove breast. Just keep in mind that they are small so make sure you have enough for you and your guests. A serving is between 3 and 8 breasts depending on the appetite.

This dove season try a few of these flavorful recipes below. The recipes are fairly simple and use ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

For dove seasons by zone and bag limits: http://www.outdooralabama.com/season-and-bag-limits.

 

COUNTRY-FRIED DOVE BREASTS

Washed and dried dove breasts
Salt
Pepper
Lemon pepper
Seasoning salt
Flour
Oil

Season the breasts to taste with the first four ingredients. Dredge the breasts in flour and fry in a large skillet in hot oil. Serve covered with gravy.

 

For gravy
Dove drippings
Flour
Water

Add flour and water to the drippings in the skillet. Cook over low heat and stir constantly until it thickens.

 

BAKED SMOTHERED DOVE

6 whole dove breasts, washed and dried
Salt and pepper 
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
2 cups chicken stock, heated
1 cup oil

Season dove breasts with salt and pepper an hour before cooking. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and paprika and dredge the breasts. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and brown lightly on all sides. Remove the birds and drain all but about 2 Tablespoons oil. Pour the seasoned flour into the hot skillet and stir over low heat for four minutes until browned. Slowly stir in hot chicken stock and cook a few more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the dove breasts to the gravy, cover, and bake in the oven for one hour or until tender. If the gravy gets too thick, add more heated chicken stock.

 

MARINATED DOVE

4 dove breasts, washed and dried
1/3 cup white wine
½ cup beer
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ cup sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup white vinegar
Clove of garlic, minced
Dash of MSG, optional

Mix all of the ingredients together except the doves and cook until the mixture begins to boil. Pour the mixture over the dove breasts and marinate at least one hour. Broil or grill the doves, basting frequently with marinade.

 

DOVE DUMPLINGS

8 cups chicken broth
5 stalks of celery, chopped
3 small onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
25 doves, cleaned
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting your work surface
¾ cup water 

Boil chicken broth with celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Add doves and simmer till tender, about 20-30 minutes. Remove doves to cool and return broth to a boil. While it boils, lightly flour a work surface. Mix the flour with water and form a ball of dough that isn’t too sticky. Roll dough into a very thin rectangle. Cut the dough into strips using a pizza cutter. As you pick the strips up, stretch them a little to make them thinner. Drop the strips into boiling broth one at a time. Cook for about 20 minutes. Shred the dove meat and when the dumplings are cooked, add the dove meat to broth and salt and pepper to taste.

 

FRIED DOVE WITH JALAPENOS

12 whole doves, washed and dried
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 thin slices of jalapenos
¼ cup fresh parsley
Kosher salt and black pepper
Oil for frying

Halve the birds and remove the breastbone. Soak the halves in buttermilk for 6-10 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the birds from the buttermilk and season well with salt and pepper and dip in flour. Shake off the excess flour and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes. Heat a few inches of oil to 375° in a fryer or large pot. Melt the butter, combine with the honey, garlic and hot sauce in a large bowl. Fry the birds in small batches until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss the birds in the butter mixture, then add the jalapenos and parsley.

 

Christy Kirk is a freelance writer who lives in Little Texas.