Delicious recipes for cooking dove after the harvest
Dove Hunting Guide
BY JEAN WILSON
When it comes to doves, the big question is, “Now that you have it, what are you going to do with it?” First, you have to clean the bird before preparing the meat for cooking. (Pro tip: have vinyl gloves or a bucket of water handy). This is a really simple method for separating the breast from the bird, which used to be very messy and time-consuming with feathers flying everywhere. To me, this is well worth doing. If you haven’t tried it yet, I think you’ll agree. Begin by laying the harvested dove on its back with wings either removed or spread out of the way to each side. Pick off feathers on the center of the breast ONLY to expose the breast, and with your fingers, push feathers well out of the way. Remove the breast from the bird, disposing of everything except for the breast. If you want to debone the breast, remove breast meat from the bones with a very sharp knife, cutting along the sides and center to remove each 1/2 of the breast. Wash it thoroughly and store in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare for cooking. For those who prefer to continue with the old way of cleaning the bird in order to include the legs with the breast (some recipes call for this), carefully defeather the breast and leg area of the bird and separate it from the rest of the bird. For either method, wash the bird thoroughly as mentioned above and store it in the zip-lock bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare it for cooking. Whichever method you choose, once the meat is clean, it’s a good time to marinate the breasts. I place dove in Zesty Italian Dressing overnight but that would be whatever you prefer or would like to try. Now you can begin preparing a delicious meal with a variety of recipes!