Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Dove Breasts

           I have been wanting to get into hunting for some time now. I never really had guns around growing up, and not a lot of my family hunts. Being a thirty year old hunting virgin is really taking its toll on me. I want to be comfortable around guns, and I want to hunt, but jumping in is not as easy as it sounds. Safety precautions, rules, regulations, seasons, split seasons, special seasons, public land, private land, hunting clubs, the NRA, Friends who hunt but can not take anyone for some reason or another, safety classes, permits, tags--it is all a little much. The big thing is the cost: guns, tags, permits, classes, gear, and ammo all costs money. I don't want to make a rookie mistake. I am just getting by as it is without buying the wrong gun. It all makes my head spin.

      Reading Hank Shaw's book, Hunt Gather Cook, gave me a better idea of what I wanted to do. I needed a shotgun, a safety class, and a licence. Things did not line up though. I decided I would start with dove, the most prolific game bird in the California's central coast. September first was the opener and I could not scrape together the funds to make it this year. Though I did bring the dog to the range and find she is not gun shy. So my sites are set on next season.

         The good thing about sportsmen is we tend to take care of each other and are normally willing to share. So I traded some rockfish I caught last trip out to a coworker who is an avid hunter. I got nine beautiful birds to try out. I breasted all but two of them to see how they were whole.

The dark meat was tender and very moist looking. I used a fillet knife to remove the meat from the thick breast plate leaving me small tear drop shaped medallions.
 I added pepper and wrapped them in bacon as per my friend's suggestions. I used half a strip per medallion; I wish I would have used a quarter strip instead to speed the cooking time up.
And on the grill they went until the bacon was crispy. Make sure the grill is very hot. Dove is safe to consume at medium rare, but it you go to well the meat turns to mush and looses a lot of its nice flavor. Needless to say I over cooked mine but still enjoyed it.

A side of red beans and rice and sauteed brussel sprouts completed the dish. I really enjoyed it. My wife thought it had a liver taste and texture, but said she's eat it again. Hopefully next year I will be in a position to start hunting, and then I can get my own birds.
Plucked WholDove

Thanks for reading,


Hank's blog:
Hank's Book:


  1. looks like a beautiful meal.. nice work! I am with you man. I grew up hunting in my backyard in Texas and the 18 years I have been in California I haven't hunted once.. There are simply too many hoops to jump through for this old dog.. I am the kind of guy that needs to just go do it, and well.. This ain't Texas..

    good luck to you.. and see you this weekend!

    1. If I lived a stone's throw from the ocean and caught the monsters you do on a regular basis I wouldn't bother much either to be honest.

  2. This is one of those things that I would probably eat at a restaurant if I didn't know what it was. Something about eating doves though kinda grosses me out. TO be fair, I am not a big fan of chicken either.

    1. It actually tastes more like beef than chicken. I was sceptical at first when people called it fillet mingon ofthe sky but it is super tender and beefy with a little gamey flavor I like.

  3. Looks like a delicious meal. Just by sight I would definitely order/eat that.

    1. It tastes like tenderloin wrapped in bacon. A little BBQ or A-1 doesn't hurt it either.

  4. Daniel
    Now you are talking my kind of meal, the bacon is what makes it special. Try wrapping the bacon around quail as well. Thanks for sharing


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