Only 3 1/2 More Months

Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder with Whitewing Dove Breast

fajitas, pico, burgers, corn & poblano soup 060First of all, it just occurred to the Deerslayer family that, in South Texas, whitewing season will commence in three and a half short months.    With that in mind, it was safe for me to baby my Deerslayer with his favorite meal of Cook- All Day Whitewing With Rich Gravy” and the obligatory white rice and LeSueur peas. Although the recipe is time-consuming, the result is totally worth it for the devotee.  The meat is succulent and falls off the bone.  The gravy is rich and flavorful.

It was greatly appreciated.  As usual, however, we had about a half dozen birds left over. We usually just reheat the birds, make a new batch of rice and dig in. But I had a new idea for the leftovers that was inspired by a recipe that the female Deerslayers recently enjoyed at a local restaurant! 

We knew our starting point; roasted poblanos and roasted corn.  There were carrots and potatoes, chicken (which I knew I could substitute with whitewing instead!) and a creamy base.  Now to put it all together.

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2 roasted and peeled poblano peppers, chopped

2 roasted ears of corn, cut from the cob

1/2 cup onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

one stalk celery, finely chopped

one large carrot, finely chopped

corn oil, to cover bottom of skillet*

3 cups of chicken stock

1 small red potato, cubed

1 cup cooked whitewing breast (or more!)

1/2 cup cream or half and half

1/2 tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. comino (cumin)

1 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

freshly ground pepper to taste

1. On a cookie sheet, arrange poblano peppers and two ears of shucked corn, silks removed.  Set oven to “high” broiler setting.  Place cookie sheet on highest rack in oven, about 10 inches from the heating element. Watch closely.  As poblanos begin to blister and corn browns, use tongs to turn each until all sides of poblanos are blistered and corn is browned on all sides.  Remove from broiler.

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Place poblanos in a bowl, cover with plastic, and allow to steam for 20 minutes.

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Remove stems, seeds, and charred skin .  Chop poblanos and set aside.

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Once roasted corn is cooled, cut from the cob and set aside.

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2. Saute’ onion and garlic in corn oil in a high-sided cast iron skillet.

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 *Now some may disagree with this next step, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  I like to use corn oil that has previously been used to soften corn tortillas for enchiladas or for frying corn tortillas for homemade tortilla chips.  The oil takes on a fabulous flavor that works beautifully when frying rice, or sauteing onions and garlic for this recipe. Waste not, want not, I always say!

3.  Add all veggies (except for roasted corn and poblanos) to onion and garlic, saute for a couple of minutes, then add 2 cups of the stock, chili powder, comino, salt, and pepper.  Simmer until veggies are soft.

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4.  With a slotted spoon, remove veggies to a blender.  Add chopped poblanos, last cup of stock and 1/2 cup of cream.  You’ll probably need to do this in two batches.

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5.  Pour blended contents back into skillet.  Add diced whitewing (or chicken) and half of the corn. Heat through.

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6.  Serve with reserved corn, sliced avocado, sour cream, cilantro, or extra whitewing breast..

4 Comments on “Only 3 1/2 More Months

  1. I made the “Special Occasion Whitewing Doves with Gravy” for my son and husband tonight and they loved them. My husband said, “These are the best doves I’ve ever had!.” We are in South Carolina and the doves my fellas hunt are Mourning Doves, and they like the doves with grits! I added a pot of special green beans and it was a nice little Thanksgiving on the Saturday before Thanksgiving 2015! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for posting these recipes! We hunted dove often. They would migrate to feast on corn fields in the fall, dried corn that farmers would process for fodder. So the farmers welcomed all legal hunters to thin the flocks (more like swarms). My dad would bake them (bones in) in the oven on a tray with gravy. WOW. I wish we could buy them in stores. One of the best meals I have ever had. Dark tender meat that melts in your mouth – and a flavor better than duck or goose. Incredible flavor – nothing else is really like it. We could bag 12, which is plenty for one person at a meal. And fun to hunt – they fly crazy – must take close shots. Our game was, who ever gets 12 doves with the least shells wins. Grandpa usually won. Sometimes 12 birds with 12 shells. Try that sometime. And try dove with gravy if you ever get the chance!

  3. Peter, thank you for sharing your memories of childhood hunting. Those fond memories, shared around a fire, are hard to beat. Deerslayer (doveslayer) and I are glad that our daughters have stories to tell and laugh about that they enjoy sharing with several generations of the Deerslayer clan. The matriarch of the group shared her recipe for “special occasion whitewing” with me many years ago. It’s Deerslayer’s favorite and sounds much like the one you describe. Find it here:
    Also, check out my recipes for dove ravioli in browned butter and dove breast crostini. It’s good to find a kindred spirit! Hunt on!

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