Our first hunt of fall is usually a dove hunt. It’s usually about 100 degrees, and the days never seem to end. It’s a stark juxtaposition to what the conditions will be like in a few months. To us, a dove hunt is a warmup for the struggle season ahead. Even so, it yields some of the best, albeit small, meat of the season.
We process and cook almost all our doves in the same manner – plucked whole and grilled. There’s not a lot of room for improvement over doves cooked over direct, smoky heat. Where we have some fun is with the glaze we put on the birds while they’re on the grill.
This particular tangy glaze adds a little heat, sweetness and savoriness to the tender doves. The addition of butter helps crisp up the skin and gives it just a little more richness.
We pluck our doves whole. You can breast them out if you're feeling lazy, but you’ll be missing out on all the crispy bits. We eat these with our bare hands, no utensils required. A plucked dove is like a giant chicken wing but better.
Spicy Mustard Glazed Doves
- 2 tbsp butter, room temp
- 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- Mix all glaze ingredients with a whisk.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Season the doves with salt and pepper. Place the doves on the grill breast side up, and cook covered for around 4 minutes.
- Brush on the glaze and rotate the doves breast side down. Brush glaze on back side of doves. Cook for 2-3 minutes uncovered. If using a grill with a diffuser, open it up and cook directly over the flames.
- Flip doves back over, and brush the breast side again with glaze. Cook for about another minute or until the thickest part of the breast is about 135 degrees.