Everyone loves a good dove popper, but assembling a grill full on short notice can be a task. One of our favorite dove recipes combines some of those same flavors in an easy to assemble and cook skewer.
I hear you wild game purists out there with your “can’t taste the wild game if its covered in bacon” theories, and I agree on some things. But bacon tastes good. And grilled bacon wrapped around a dove breast taste even better.
Besides flavor, the bacon in this recipe serves another important function. Most of the time, when I hear people say they tried dove and didn’t like it, the dove had been overcooked. Just like duck, if you cook dove beyond about medium rare to medium, it starts to take on an unappealing texture and a slightly livery flavor. The bacon wrap insulates the dove breast from the heat, keeping it from overcooking before the rest of the ingredients are done.
We used whole button mushrooms for this batch, but use whatever mushroom you like the most. We marinated the mushrooms along with the dove breast for extra flavor. Pepper choice is up to you. For traditional popper flavor, go with jalapeño. We toned down the heat on this one with a combination of poblano and yellow bell for both great pepper flavor and a splash of color.
15 dove breasts, deboned
1 pound bacon
1 pound button or other mushrooms
2 green poblano peppers, cut into 1” squares
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1” squares
2 onions, cut into 1” squares
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup honey 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon dried parsley
Debone the dove breasts so that you have roughly 30 pieces of meat — two from each breast. Place the mushrooms and dove breasts in separate bowls or bags. Mix the marinade and pour about ⅓ over the dove breast and ⅔ over the mushrooms. Marinate for 4-8 hours, refrigerated.
When you are ready to assemble the kabobs, prep your peppers and onion.
Cut the bacon slices in either two or three pieces, depending on how much bacon you prefer per dove breast. Wrap ½ of a slice of bacon around a marinated dove breast. Slide onto a water-soaked bamboo skewer, or use a metal skewer if that's all you have. Follow with a marinated mushroom, bell pepper, onion, and poblano pepper. Then repeat until the skewer is full. Repeat the process until all ingredients have been used.
Season the skewers with salt and pepper or your favorite wild game rub. Place on a hot grill, turning often, for 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through.
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