There are only a hand full of phrases that evoke a special sense of excitement and passion within the Texas outdoor enthusiast. “White Wing season opener” is one of them. The opportunity to pit your shooting skills against the dipping, diving, soaring White Wing Dove is an experience that can rarely be matched. Literally thousands of hunters will take to the field to try their skill, and thousands of White Wings will be harvested. After you have your quarry: it is time to expand your hunting experience into a culinary treat for family and friends. Try this recipe for a new taste experience and relive the hunt with each satisfying bite!
A note from the Texas Gourmet…
Would you ever take a fish after being caught, and allow it to sit out in the heat for a couple of hours? I didn’t think so, but when dove hunting, most of the time, harvested doves are placed in the “game pocket” on the back of the hunting vest sometimes for hours resulting in a concentration of enzymes and bacteria that settles into the meat. A plan should be made to have a cooler bag handy with ice and a few gallon size freezer zip lock bags. Personalize each bag if 2 or more are sharing a cooler, and try to place your harvested doves in the cooler every 45 minutes or so. This is to preserve the doves until proper cleaning can be done. The brine, which I describe in this recipe will aid in removing these undesirable enzymes and flavors from the meat, so you can begin the preparation with the clean and natural flavor of the dove.
SERVES: 12 to 16
24 dove breasts
24 Jalapeños (halved and seeded to make 48 halves)
2 Purple onions peeled and cut into 1” thick wedges
2 Cakes of cream cheese (allow to sit out to soften for 1-2 hours)
FOR THE BRINE
Fillet the breast meat from the breast-plate. Place the fillet halves into a large bowl of ice water. They should be fully submersed. Add ½ cup sea salt to ½ gallon of ice water. Allow meat to sit for 1-2 hours. Pour off water and rinse the meat again with cold water.
In a mixing bowl add the following to the cream cheese: 1 tablespoon each of black pepper, garlic salt and basil leaves
Stuff a Jalapeño half with ¾ tsp cream cheese mixture- place the breast on top of the cream cheese and place the purple onion on top of the breast. Wrap the pepper and breast with a half slice of bacon. Hold the bacon in place with a moist round toothpick. (Be sure to wrap tightly to hold in cheese)
FOR THE BASTE
The baste will help to cook the bacon faster and keep the meat from overcooking and drying out.
1 whole bottle of Syrah or Merlot wine
¾ jar Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly
3 T Soy Sauce
3 T Olive Oil
1 T Dijon Mustard
3 tsp. Beef Bullion
1 T Butter
1 T Black Pepper
2 T Rosemary leaves-chopped coarsely
2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
Place all of above ingredients in a sauce pan, over medium heat and reduce by ½ of volume. Remove from heat.
Because they are small, delicate, and prone to flare ups on the fire, place the dove wraps indirectly over medium high heat on the grill, and keep it covered when not basting them. Turn the wraps every 4-5 minutes and baste them every time you turn them until bacon is browned. Remove from the grill to a platter, and cover loosely with a piece of foil for approx. 7-8 minutes to rest the meat. Then remove the toothpicks and enjoy.