- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2007

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

If you hunt wild game, you also should eat it. This goes for all game, including mourning doves.

Here’s how this exquisite little bird is prepared in our home:

After making a small cut below the neck, remove the sandy grit in the crop, then peel back the skin (feathers still attached) from around the breast. Remove the breast by simply twisting and breaking the bone that connects it to the back and the rest of the body. Cut off any membranes and small bones that might still be attached. A paring knife will do nicely.

Wash eight or 10 breasts, salt and pepper them, then roll them in flour. Meanwhile, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a cooking pot and add a diced onion and several crushed cloves of garlic. When the onion pieces begin to change color, add the dove breasts and let them brown awhile but don’t allow them to stick by moving the breasts around with a wooden spoon.

When browned a little, pour enough of a 50-50 mixture of beef stock and water over the meat to cover it and add several bay leaves. Turn back the stove-top heat and let it simmer slowly.

When tender to the fork, remove the meat, turn up the heat on the soon-to-be gravy while you dissolve a heaping tablespoon of corn starch in a half cup of cold water, then slowly stir the mixture into the boiling pot. The gravy will thicken almost instantly. Now taste it. Does it require more salt or pepper? I usually also add several generous shots of a seasoning known as Maggi most grocery stores carry it and then return the dove breasts to the gravy.

You will enjoy the doves and the gravy when served with mashed potatoes and peas, perhaps also with a salad and a tall glass of beer or tea.

Gene Mueller

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