A “Dovely” Little Brunch – Winning Recipes from the Yuma, AZ Dove Cookoff

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Top a short stack of mesquite pancakes with a whole, fried dove, drizzle with mesquite smoked prickly pear maple syrup and serve with your favorite hot sauce for a crispy, tangy, spicy, and sweet dish.

Mesquite Pancakes


  • 1 cup Pancake Mix (2 cup AP flour, ¾ Cup Mesquite flour, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp sugar, whisk all ingredients together and save for later)
  • 1 1/8 cups of milk

Directions: Mix milk and mix, add milk or mix as needed order to reach the consistency a bit thinner than normal pancake mx. Pour ¼ cup sized portions on med/high griddle, flip when light brown. Note: because mesquite flour holds a lot of moisture, larger pancakes may stay moist and dense in the middle.

Whole Fried Doves


  • Doves (I prefer spatchcocked with breasts removed - see video on IG @ dsr_outside for instructions)
  • Milk
  • AP Flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil of choice (1 inch in a large dutch oven, preheated to 350 degrees)

Directions: Mix salt and pepper into flour and spread on a large plate or dish. Dredge doves in milk and place into flour, coating evenly. Fry doves for about 2-3 minutes each side until the outside is crispy and inside is juicy and dark red. Salt immediately after removing from oil.

Mesquite Smoked Prickly Pear Maple Syrup


  • Prickly Pear Simple syrup (2 cups sugar, 1 cup prickly pear juice, heated together in a sauce pan until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear
  • High quality maple syrup

Directions: To smoke your prickly pear syrup, pour half into a glass container and place in a 180 degree smoker with mesquite wood/chips/pellets for about 20 minutes. Assemble the mesquite smoked prickly pear maple syrup with 1 part prickly pear syrup, 1 part smoked prickly pear syrup, and two parts maple syrup.

“Dovocado” Toast

Toast bread of choice with butter on both sides, spread on layers of jalapeno goat cheese and smashed avocado to your desired thickness. Top with thin sliced or whole candied dove breasts to enjoy a sort of hipster deconstruction/reconstruction of the classic dove popper.

Candied Dove breasts


  • Dove Breasts (smashed thin)
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Directions: coat dove breasts in sugar, and flash fry in 350 degree oil for about 1 minute. Remove from oil and sprinkle with salt. Note: This can generate a bit of smoke so cook outside or turn on your vent fan

Jalapeño Goat cheese – finely mince fresh jalapeno and mix with softened goat cheese to your desired spiciness

Avocado spread – Smash a ripe avocado with salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste.

Prickly Pear Limeade

Muddle a handful of basil with splash of flavored or unflavored club soda. Add 7 ounces of prickly pear syrup, 3 ounces of lime juice, and 24-30 more ounces of club soda. Fill with ice, stir gently, add chopped limes and jalapeños to garnish. 

About David Ross

Adult-Onset Hunter spending as much time as I can adventuring out-of-doors and cooking wild game