Recipe by Glen Pabody, owner of Wildrose Abe
About three years ago I was opening up the dove season in Vernon, Texas. After the hunt the adult beverages were broken out, the dogs were fed and watered, and the coals were started. Everyone had contributed something to what would become a memorable meal. There were about fourteen of us and everyone had kicked in a few dove breasts apiece to the head chef. Unlike the usual “wrap ’em in bacon and baste them with Italian dressing,” our chef did something different and truly mouth watering. I took his recipe and tweaked it a little and boy is it good!
A day or so before you plan to prepare your dove, brine them in salt water. Cover them with 3-4 inches of water and refrigerate. I usually do this twice, pouring off the bloody water and recovering the dove with salt water and placing them back in the fridge.
Shortly before preparing them, drain the salt water (which should be bloody. The salt has an astringent action and pulls much of the blood from the meat and seasons it at the same time). Then thoroughly rinse the meat and set it aside.
On prep day pre-heat your gas grill to 350 degrees or get your charcoal going to a light grey color.
The next step is fileting the meat from the breastbone. This is an optional step, some folks prefer cooking the dove whole, but my experience is the meat cooks more evenly when fileted.
Following fileting the meat, wrap the two breast halves in 1/2 of a strip of thick-sliced bacon and pin with a couple of toothpicks.
Too much bacon (is there really such a thing?) overpowers the dove flavor and doesn’t allow the meat to cook evenly.
Set aside and begin preparing the sauce. You’ll need…
* 2 sticks of butter
* 1 pint of heavy cream
* Worcestershire sauce
* Garlic powder
* Coarse ground pepper
* A pinch or two of salt (you won’t need much)
Put your cream and butter in a medium saucepan. Add in 3-4 good shakes of the Worcestershire sauce, the same of garlic powder,
a couple of shakes of the coarse ground pepper, and salt. Heat slowly and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat.
Place the doves in a shallow throwaway aluminum pan, place on the grill, and cover with the sauce. Allow the dove to cook for about 10-12 minutes, then remove from the sauce mix and place directly on the grill turning them frequently for 3-4 minutes till the bacon begins to crisp a little. Don’t over cook. The meat should be medium to medium rare.
Remove from the grill, plate, and drizzle some of the sauce mix over the birds. Enjoy!