Just for the record. Me and this blog have divided the earth into 3 regions. Northern hemisphere, North of 23 degrees latitude, Southern hemisphere, South of 23 degrees latitude Then there is that region extending from about 23 degrees North to 23 degrees South Latitude where temperatures are favorable for gardening almost non-stop 12 months a year.
Fall Hunting Starts on the first day of September in the south and southwest USA.
Opening day for Dove season seems to be a southern holiday and is much enjoyed even if you (grin) fail to down even one Dove. At least in Oklahoma, the native Mourning Dove and the White Wing Dove(mostly seen only in southwest) near and along the Texas/Mexico border areas have strict daily limits. However the non-native Eurasian collared Dove aka Ring neck Dove has no such daily bag limits.
Doves, pigeons and squab deserve their own category. They are really dark meat birds with very little fat. When plucking doves and pigeons keep them whole. (It’s an eye appeal thing) They are very easy to pluck taking only a few seconds once you get the hang of it. What you get in return for your effort a beautiful presentation and those little legs, which are so very tasty! Remove the wings from doves and all but the first wing joint on pigeons.
Dove are small birds, one dove makes a good portion for an appetizer, three to four are served for a main course. Pigeon being larger birds, only one pigeon makes a light dinner main course. Serve two for that hungry working man in your family. Squabs are the same as pigeons, serve one to two per person.
In my opinion, grilling is the best way to cook young doves and pigeons. Grilling is the only way to get the skin crispy without overcooking the breast meat. Don’t over cook your dove or pigeon! They are small birds and cook quickly. Remove them from the grill while the breast meat is still a light pink. Older Doves or Pigeons are better braised or aluminum foil wrapped and oven cooked.
Quick Hints on Grilling Dove or Pigeon
* Grilled Doves Stuffed with 1/4 to 1/2 tart apple and fresh herbs, brush with bacon fat or wrap bird with a slice of bacon and dust with smoked (sweet) paprika before serving.
* Cajun Grilled Doves Doves rubbed with Cajun seasonings and grilled hot and fast.
* Grilled Dove, pigeon or squab Italian Style. Grill your birds over a hardwood fire and dressed only with a little bit of salt and a little black pepper and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Don’t over cook your birds! It is just that simple.
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