Turn Wild Birds into Gourmet Fare (1 of 2)

As a successful bird hunter, you may be looking for recipes for your doves and teal. My dear husband  (MDH) has been a duck hunter for years and we’ve tried many ways to bring out the delicious best of the game Richard has brought home. Here are some of our favorites!

We’ve never experienced the “gamey” flavor folks complain of because MDH field dresses, plucks, cools and ages birds carefully. Because the focus of this article is cooking, I’ll leave the plucking, etc., directions for another day.

Doves Have Dark Meat

The most tender of the doves are the young ones.  These can be fried; but older dove taste better with other types of cooking.

Fried Doves

Two doves make a serving. Because the doves are slowly cooked in liquid, this is a great recipe for older doves or doves of an uncertain age.

Fry like chicken. Dredge the doves through a combination of salt, pepper and flour. Fry in a heavy pan; I use olive oil, while others swear by corn oil.

Brown, remove and drain on paper towels. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add to a pan (with a cover):

1 chopped onion

some parsley (fresh or dried), according to personal taste

2 – 3 whole garlic cloves (optional)

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 to 1 teasp. salt

2 cups water

2 cups wine (or broth, as preferred)

Stir the flour into the liquids until smooth, add doves, cover and cook for one hour. Very delicious with brown and wild rice!

Smothered Doves

This recipe is similar to the one above.  Because the doves are slowly cooked in liquid, this is a great recipe for older doves or doves of an uncertain age. This recipe comes from an ancient Houston Chronicle food section.

6 or 8 doves

3 Tbsp. flour

1/2 teasp. salt

1/4 teasp. pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

1 or 2 cloves of garlic

1 cup Burgundy or Claret of other red wine

Dust the doves with flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a heavy skillet, lightly brown doves in heated oil with garlic. When browned, remove garlic and discard. Add wine and enough water to barely cover birds. Simmer about 1 and 1/2 hours or until tender. Thicken pan juices with a little of the remaining seasoned flour. Serve with a brown/wild rice combination. Serves 3.


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