Fried Dove with Mesquite Pancakes and Smoked Prickly Pear Syrup

In September our Arizona chapter held its 1st annual Dove Cook-off and Pint Night to celebrate the opening of dove season. Held in Yuma, the event brought together BHA members and supporters from across the region to celebrate our public lands, raise awareness of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and engage with likeminded hunters and anglers. The chef who prepared the best dove-based dish received a prize package from Traeger Grills. Here, I've complied one of the winning recipes we've dubbed Feathers 'N Flapjacks. It makes quite a “Dovely Little Brunch.”

Feathers ‘n Flapjacks


Mesquite Pancake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pancake mix
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup mesquite flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/8 cups milk

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients and mix together.
  2. Add milk and mix as needed to reach a consistency that is a bit thinner than normal pancake mix.
  3. Pour ¼ cup sized portions on a griddle set to medium high and flip when light brown.
  4. Note: Because mesquite flour holds a lot of moisture, larger pancakes may stay too moist in the middle for your liking.

Whole Fried Dove Ingredients

  • Doves, spatchcocked with breast removed
  • Milk
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil of choice, enough to cover the bottom of a large dutch oven by 1 inch

Cooking Instructions:

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

Mesquite Smoked Prickly Pear Maple Syrup Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup prickly pear juice
  • High quality maple syrup

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Combine the sugar and prickly pear juice in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear.
  2. Pour half of the prickly pear syrup into a glass container and set in a 180 degree smoker with mesquite wood/chips/pellets for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. To assemble, combine with 1 part prickly pear syrup, 1 part smoked prickly pear syrup and two parts maple syrup.

To Serve:

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.


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About David Ross

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