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Dove Breast Crostini

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I take pride in having more whitewing recipes than the average Doveslayer’s wife.  Every dove hunter loves dove breast with a slice of jalapeño and wrapped in bacon and tossed on the grill.  It’s the pretty much the gold standard.  Everybody loves it. When I talk to people about dove recipes, many of them will look around sneakily and almost whisper,”Have you ever tried slipping a jalapeno in the breast, wrapping it with bacon, and grilling it?”

“Yep, I’ve tried it. Yes, it’s a great way to eat doves.  But there just have to be more ways to enjoy these tasty morsels,”I would say to myself.  That’s why I started experimenting with whitewing recipes.

We end up with lots of doves in our freezer every year.  When Deerslayer/Doveslayer goes out for a hunt, he usually comes home with doves that other hunters have given him, probably because most people only have one “go-to” recipe.  I needed more recipes.  So I started with Special Occasion Whitewing Doves with Gravy, which I received from the matriarch of the Deerslayer Clan,  Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder with Whitewing Breast,and  Chilaquiles Verdes with Dove Breast, both are variations of recipes we’ve enjoyed from favorite restaurants, and  Dove Ravioli in Browned Butter, a concoction of my own design.

As I worked on the ravioli recipe, my daughters were my taste-testers… to the point that I almost ran out of filling for the ravioli!  It was suggested that the ravioli filling would make a fantastic appetizer on crackers or toast… so I tried it.  Huge hit! Try it and let me know how you like it.  There are few recipes out there for dove appetizers.  I think you’ll like this one.

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  • a big splash of olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves,coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
  •  dove breasts (from 10 doves)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ to ½ cup dry white wine ( a glug)
  • ½ cup parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • small toasts or crackers
  • chopped parsley for sprinkling

In a hot skillet, sauté onion in olive oil until almost caramelized. Reduce heat.

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Add in garlic,  dove breasts, chopped red bell pepper (or not), dried thyme, red pepper flakes, and a ¼ cup of white wine. You may need to add some more  wine during the food processing to get a good, spreadable consistency.

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20 breast fillets from 10 doves

 

Toss about until combined and dove breasts are cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.

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The dove breasts are not quite done yet.

You can cut into the dove breast to test for doneness. Remove from heat.

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The breasts are done!

Allow the ingredients to cool before you add the parmesan or it will melt and create a large glob.  You don’t want that.

Transfer mixture to your food processor, in batches if you have a food processorette like I do, and process until everything is finely chopped and holds together. This is when you can add more white wine if the mixture is too dry to be spreadable.

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Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Serve at room temperature with small toasts.

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Dove Ravioli in Browned Butter

dsc_0230Well, friends, I’ve really dropped the ball this time.  The opening of whitewing season has come and gone in South Texas and I didn’t post any acknowledgement whatsoever. Not a recipe, a “let’s get ready”, or a “good luck hunters”. Sometimes things get kinda hectic and life just gets ahead of you.  Sometimes it turns around and laughs while you try to catch up.

I can only hope that you checked out some of my previous posts; A Thing or Two About Game Birds, It’s Here! Whitewing Season!, Roasted Corn and Poblano Soup with Whitewing Dove Breast, and Chilaquiles with Whitewing Breast.

The funny thing is that  Deerslayer went on a dove-hunting trip in Argentina a while ago and brought back a recipe that he was served one evening after the hunt.  He liked it enough to ask the chef for the recipe so that I could prepare it for him at home.  Here it is.

Dove Ravioli

makes about 25 ravioli

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    • a big splash of olive oil
    • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves,coarsely chopped
    • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
    •  dove breasts (from 10 doves)
    • 1 tsp. dried thyme
    • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • ¼ to ½ cup dry white wine ( a glug)
    • ½ cup parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
    • a package wonton wrappers, usually found in the produce section
    • 1 egg, beaten
    •  some pine nuts
    • Italian parsley, chopped

In a hot skillet, sauté onion in olive oil until almost caramelized. Reduce heat.

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Add in garlic, red bell pepper (optional), dove breasts, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, and a ¼ cup of white wine. You may need to add some more  wine during the food processing to get the correct consistency.

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20 breast filets from 10 doves

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Toss about until combined and dove breasts are cooked through, about 7-10 minutes.

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The dove breasts are not quite done yet.

You can cut into the dove breast to test for doneness. Remove from heat.

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The breasts are done!

Allow the ingredients to cool before you add the parmesan or it will melt and create a large glob.  You don’t want that.

Transfer mixture to your food processor, in batches if you have a food processorette like I do, and process until everything is finely chopped and holds together. This is when you can add more white wine if the mixture is too dry to hold together.

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Next, separate and lay out the wonton wrappers.

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Wonton wrappers are pre-rolled, pre-cut sheets of pasta used for, you guessed it, wontons.  All the work has been done for you.  They make this recipe so much more feasible for the busy hunter and family. Wonton wrappers are readily available in most grocers in the produce section.

Place about 2 tsp. of the dove mixture into the center of each pasta square.

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Paint a scant amount of the beaten egg around each ravioli to “glue” the two pasta squares together.  Carefully press the squares together, being careful to press as much air as possible out of the center.

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Bring about a gallon of water to a rapid boil in a large pot.  Add some salt and a glug of olive oil.

Add the ravioli, a few at a time to the pot.  They will sink at first, then will rise to the top. This will only take a minute or two.

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You may remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon or a spider, like the one pictured.

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In a separate pan over medium heat place the butter until it just starts to brown.

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Toss in a few ravioli until coated and slightly browned around the edges. Remove to a plate. Drizzle browned butter over the plate of ravioli.  Sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley, remaining parmesan, and pine nuts.

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It’s Here! Whitewing Season!

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This awesome photo was taken by a long-time friend of my Deerslayer, Juan Gavito. Thank you, Juan!

This weekend, my Deerslayer becomes a Whitewing slayer.  It’s the beginning of Whitewing season in South Texas.  Members of the Deerslayer Clan have converged on our neck-o’-the-woods from states near and far for this illustrious occasion.  Our junior deerslayer and her cousins will be the master pluckers and gutters.  Somebody’s gotta do it!  It is truly an exciting time around here.  Everyone in South Texas dons their camo.  My fellow blogger, Andy at Tremendous Whatnot, is a fellow Texan and another avid bird slayer.  His enthusiasm rivals my own Doveslayer.  Check out his great bird stories!

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Whitewing love sorghum!

Every year for as long as I can remember, it’s been unGodly hot and/or rainy and/or mosquitoey and/or humid around Labor Day.  I can really see what the Deerslayers love about this season!  But I love to see the family and, in preparation for their visit, I’ve thawed out the remnants of our frozen whitewing and cooked ’em up for the Clan after a hard day at the hunt.

I’d like to re-post Deerslayer’s favorite recipe (with better photos of the process) as well as the obligitory protocol for partaking of the feast.

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Whitewing Slayer etiquette. Provide a “bone bowl” at each setting.

Today, I need to share some crucial information about the preparation, cooking, and eating of game birds.  Since game birds are shot, and since by their very nature they have very thin, brittle, hollow bones, one must be very careful to remove as many bone fragments and bits of shot (small b-b shaped things) from the meat as possible before cooking.  Hunters generally are aware of the hazards associated with eating these birds and chew gingerly, daintily spitting out fragments as they go…. to which end I usually set out bowls around the table for this purpose.

Always inform your guests and/or family that they have been selected to share in the earth’s bounty provided by your game-bird slayer and that they need to chew carefully!

There are two main schools of thought regarding the preparation of doves.  My experience has been that most bird hunters “breast out” the birds and bring home only the breast meat; small walnut-sized morsels to wrap in bacon with a sliver of jalapeno and toss on the grill.  My dove-slayer, however, prefers ALL of the meat; breast, legs, hearts, gizzards.  So does his uncle and so did his dad.  I learned how to prepare doves from my hunter’s mother.  Preparing them this way is somewhat labor intensive but I always have the undying gratitude of my dove-slayer.

Special Occasion Whitewing Doves with gravy 

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In our enthusiasm, I forgot to photograph the plated birds until there was nothing left to photograph!

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12 (or so) doves, plucked, washed

salt, pepper, garlic powder mix*

all purpose flour for dredging

1 stick salted butter

32 oz. chicken stock.

Preheat oven to 350 degree.  Rinse birds and giblets.  Spread out, breast side up on a cookie sheet lined with foil.

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 Sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper mix.  Dredge each bird in flour.

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 In a cast iron skillet, melt butter.  Add enough cooking oil to cover bottom of skillet.

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Brown half of the birds, turning from one side of the breast to the other.  Brown remaining birds and giblets reserving the skillet with browned bits.

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Set aside all browned birds and giblets.  To the browned bits in the skillet, over medium heat, melt enough butter and about 1/4 cup of leftover flour to make a roux.

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 Slowly whisk in about half of the chicken stock, stirring constantly.

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 Season with salt, pepper, and garlic mix. Add birds and giblets back into cast iron, breast side down and turned with the meaty side toward the outside. You can make several rows toward the center.  This ensures uniform cooking.

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Because birds vary in size, add more or less stock until birds are covered.

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 Cover with lid and bake in a 350° oven for about 4 hours.  YES!  4 hours!!!!!!!!  Every hour, add chicken stock if needed to keep gravy level up.  You’ll know the birds are ready to eat when breast meat pulls easily away from the breastbone with a fork or tongs.

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Serve with white rice and LeSeuer peas. In the tradition of the Deerslayer, it must be white rice!  And it must be LeSeuer peas.  Always has been!  Always will be! Enjoy!

 

 

 
 

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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..

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Game Birds, Hunting, Recipes

 

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