I made an interesting and tasty discovery after my Doveslayer’s very successful dove hunt last week. Limits were had all ’round. For the first time, rock doves were harvested. They are also called feral pigeon and are hugely plentiful.Sadly, when they’re called pigeon rather than rock dove, however, many people turn up their noses. I have to admit, I kinda felt the same way. Sky possums? What the hell? Doveslayer brought them home, plenty of them, enough for a couple of meals so I figured I may as well find out for myself if they were any good. What if there’s a zombie apocalypse and there’s nothing else to eat? Rock doves are everywhere! I prepared them using the Special Occasion Whitewing recipe. First of all, the birds are about 1½ the size of a whitewing, That’s definitely in their favor. The rock dove has the same mild, dark-meat flavor as whitewing but with more meat.
For the skeptics, push past your prejudice. I give rock doves two-thumbs-up. I think the larger size and mild flavor are really what sold me. No limits! Way plentiful! Zombie apocalypse-proof! What’s not to love? Find out more about rock doves at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_lf_w7000_0047.pdf
After the big hunt, it was rewarding for the hunters to sit down to a huge whitewing feast. Plucking and gutting went well into the night. It was hard, hot work, but rewarding. (Do not get the mistaken impression that I was part of grueling task of cleaning the birds. It’s times like this that it really comes in handy knowing how to rustle up God’s bounty.) I was glad that I was able to reward the hunters with a feast of Special Occasion Whitewing which I’d cooked in batches earlier in the week. Since I prefer to cook in a large,covered cast iron dutch oven, I prepared approx.18 doves at a time over three days. The doves went into rectangular Rubbermaid containers and into the fridge. On the day of the feast, the doves were separated from the gravy and placed, breast-side-down in a big restaurant-sized pan. I collected all the congealed gravy goodness into a large cast iron skillet, added a little chicken stock and reheated it until a good gravy consistency was achieved. I poured the gravy over the birds, added extra stock until birds were almost covered, I covered the whole thing with foil, sealed around the edges and placed in 350º oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. Done.
It’s really good to know that birds can be prepared ahead of time. They can even be cooked, frozen, thawed, and then reheated. My doveslayer’s uncle LOVES whitewing and takes some Special Occasion Whitewing back to Colorado with him every time he visits. It’s good to be loved!