I’m not joking when I say dove is my favorite game to hunt. I always have so much fun blowing through a couple of boxes of ammo (I never said I was a great shot), watching the dogs work, and daydreaming about how I am going to cook those dove birds. I have had this idea for grilled dove basted with a sweet miso glaze for a while now and was counting down to opening day when I could finally see my vision come to life. I have to say, I am pretty pleased with this one.
When it comes to grilling whole dove birds, I take a page from Hank Shaw’s book. The key is to cook em’ hot and fast. You want the grill heated to at least 500 degrees, and you want the meat cooked to medium rare. It takes a minute to pluck a dove, the feathers come out really easily. This recipe is definitely worth the extra work.
The glaze that is basted over the grilled dove is an umami flavor bomb! It’s made with only 4 ingredients: fresh orange juice, fresh ginger, honey and red miso paste. As you brush this sauce on the dove while grilling, the sugars begin to caramelize resulting in a sweet and savory glaze.
The recipe below calls for one of my favorite Japanese spice mixes, Shichimi Togarashi. This spicy seasoning is a blend of orange peel, dried garlic, nori (dried seaweed), chilis and some other spices. It is really flavorful and has a bit of a kick which I think pairs really well with the sweetness of the glaze. There are a few options with this ingredient: you can buy it online here, you could try making it at home using a recipe found here, or you can just substitute with a mix of crushed red chili flakes, dried garlic and orange zest.
The grilled dove is garnished with lots of fresh cilantro, roasted cashews and sliced green onions. I reserved some of the citrus-miso glaze for drizzling over jasmine rice and some sautéed baby bok choy. I also think sweet potato fries would be great too.
- 12 -16 Whole Doves, Plucked
- Duck Fat or Oil for Cooking
- 2 t. Shichimi Togarashi *See Notes
- 1 t. Himalayan Salt
- ½ t. Sesame Seeds
- 1 Green Onion, thinly sliced
- Handful of Fresh Cilantro
- Handful of crushed roasted cashews or peanuts
- 2 C. Fresh Orange Juice
- Large Knob of Ginger
- 3 T. Honey
- 2 T. Red Miso Paste
- Prep the dove by plucking each each bird keeping the skin on, and patting very dry. Mix the Shichimi Togarashi, salt and sesame seeds together. Rub each dove with a little bit of oil or duck fat and sprinkle with the spice mix. Remember, a little goes a long way here. Set aside until ready to grill.
- Heat a small pot over medium high heat and add the Orange Juice.
- Peel the skin off the knob of ginger and grate on a Microplane until you have 2 full Tablespoons. Add to the pot with the Orange Juice along with the honey. Bring the liquid to a soft boil, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced in half (1 Cup), about 35 minutes or so. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. Once cool to the touch, whisk in the Miso Paste until combined. Reserve half the glaze for serving on the side, and use the other half for brushing on the dove as they grill.
- Preheat the grill at a high setting, so that your grill is at least 500 degrees, have your citrus-miso glaze handy. Once hot, add each dove face side down and grill for a couple of minutes. Flip the dove over and brush the glaze over each dove, close the lid and continue grilling for an additional 8 - 10 minutes, brushing the glaze on top of each bird a couple times. Remove the birds, serving them at medium rare so that the meat is still pink.
- Serve with reserved citrus-miso glaze and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and crushed nuts.