It is Dove Season! And that means it is also time for having fresh game on the table. Dove can be a little tricky to cook. It is very lean, small and can be very “gamey”.
Here is one of my favorite recipes for dove breast.
BBQ Bacon Dove Bites
- Deboned Dove Breasts (how many you want to cook)
- 1/2 Slice of Bacon per Breast
- Sweet BBQ Sauce
- Spicy BBQ Rub
- 1/4 Cup of Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
- 1 Quart of Water
Make a brine with the water, salt and brown sugar. I usually do not use a wet brine on most meats, but I have found that it really helps draw the blood out of the dove and takes some of the gamey taste away.
Soak the dove breasts in the brine for at least 2 hours but no more than 4. If you leave them in the brine too long, they run the risk of being too salty.
Remove from the brine, rinse the breast off under cold water and pat dry.
Roll the dove in a BBQ rub. I prefer one that is a bit spicy. This is a great place to experiment with making your own rub or trying different ones from the store.
Wrap the breasts in bacon. I use a half of a normal thickness slice for this. Stretch the bacon out a little as you wrap it around the breast and you will not have to use a toothpick to hold it in place.
Fire up your grill. I like to use a charcoal grill but I do not add any hardwoods for extra smoke flavor. Set your grill up for indirect cooking. We want the inside of the grill to be about 350-375 but we don’t want the fat from the bacon flaring up.
Once your grill is up to 350, place the bacon wrapped dove breasts on grill and close the lid. After 7 minutes flip them. There should be a nice grill mark and the bacon should be cooked on that side.
After the first flip, baste a small amount of a sweet BBQ Sauce on the breasts. Cook for another 7 minutes.
Flip them again and glaze the other side with the sauce. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the BBQ Sauce has firmed up and caramelized. They are done when the bacon is cooked.
Now it is time to dig in and enjoy!