Dove hunting is in full swing, so we thought we would share a recipe we made recently for bacon wrapped dove poppers. It’s not like you can run to the store and buy doves to prepare, so this blog post is a wild game post for all the dove hunters out there.
David says it’s been about twenty to twenty-five years since he and his uncle Wayne last went dove hunting together. I have mentioned David’s close relationship with his U
Doves aren’t the brightest birds perched on the power line. They scare easily and can fly up and out before you can pull the trigger. This makes dove a challenging target to hit with a shotgun, which makes hunting dove a lot of fun, especially the time spent with good hunting buddies. Between Wayne, David, and their hunting buddies, it was a successful first-day kill. David arrived back on the mountain later that evening with 15 dove breasts in tow.
Dove meat is more versatile than people think and there are a lot of ways you can prepare dove, but what better way to enjoy your first day’s doves than on the grill, wrapped in bacon?
These dove poppers are a little different in that they do not have cheese, typical of jalapeno poppers, but rather a roasted mashed garlic paste with olive oil and salt and two different chili peppers.
First off, we used a hatch chili, because they are in season, and we couldn’t find poblanos at the store. We charred the
Second, we also decided to add some heat with my homemade pickled jalapenos. Then we wrapped all of this up inside a slice of bacon to grill.
These bacon wrapped dove poppers were delicious! A great balance of juicy bacon fat, salty tang of the chilies, spicy heat from the jalapenos, savory-sweet garlic and smoky meat. A great way to celebrate the hunt.
Oh, and don’t forget the ice-cold beer! (oh yeah, I drink beer now…)
p.s. For all of our carnivorous friends, don’t knock these until you have tried them. WOW!
Bacon Wrapped DovePoppers
- 10-15 boneless dove breasts
- 1 pound bacon
- 5 Hatch chiles
- ½ cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt
- 3 heads of garlic
Prepare the Hatch Chilies
- Roast or char the Hatch chiles and seal them in a bowl with a lid or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. Once cool, peel the skins, remove the stems, veins and seeds. Slice into 2 to 3-inch strips (the same width as the slices of bacon you are using). Soak the strips in the lime juice and apple cider. Pickle them no less than one hour.
- (You can learn more about how to do that HERE. The same process is done with a poblano chili)
Roast the Garlic
- Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice the top of the garlic heads, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, cut-side up. Roast for about one hour. Check for doneness, the garlic cloves should be a light caramel color and soft; about 30 to 40 minutes. Exact roasting time will vary depending on the size of the garlic heads. Keep roasting for ten-minute intervals until done.
- Remove from the oven and allow the garlic heads to cool enough to handle. Squeeze out the cloves by pressing up from the root end, left intact. Squeeze out the individual cloves out of each head. They are soft mush and ready to use, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt to taste, to form a paste.
Build the dove poppers:
- Lay a strip of bacon on a clean work surface (I love using a large sheet freezer paper for easy clean up). On top of the bacon slice, add a strip of the hatch chili. Dab on some of the garlic paste and spread across the chili. Add as many jalapeno slices as you wish. Top the chiles with a dove breast, then roll up tightly and secure with a toothpick. Repeat for each breast.
Grill the Dove Poppers
- Fire up the grill, and grill the beasts over a two-zone fire, so as not to get the bacon done before the dove breast. Turn the dove poppers often. They are done with the bacon is; about 30 to 45 minutes
- Serve hot!
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