Dove Season’s Favorite Appetizer: The Dove Popper

Inside Pursuit

Its one of the iconic recipes of Dove season. These savory snacks are a must after a day in the field.

For the Dove Poppers:
– 8-10 plucked and cleaned dove breasts
– 8-10 slices of bacon, cut in half
– 8-10 jalapeño pepper, halved
– 1/2 cup cream cheese
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– Toothpicks, for securing

For the Marinade:
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
– 1 tablespoon honey
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika
– Salt and black pepper to taste

The work:

1. In a bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, dried thyme, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

2. Place the cleaned dove breasts in a zip-top bag or shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

3. While the dove breasts are marinating, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper until well combined.

4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat or set up your smoker for indirect grilling at around 350°F (175°C).

5. Remove the marinated dove breasts from the refrigerator and drain them. Discard the marinade.

6. Take a dove breast and cut in half (for bigger ones you’ll need to slice to fit in the jalapeño).

7. Layer the cream cheese filling mixture and Dove breast into the sliced Jalapeño.

8. Wrap each stuffed Jalapeño with half a slice of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. This will hold everything together while cooking.

9. Place the dove poppers on the grill grates or smoker grates and cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crispy, and the dove breasts are cooked to your desired level of doneness. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

10. Once cooked, remove the dove poppers from the grill or smoker and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

11. Serve your delicious dove poppers as an appetizer or alongside your favorite dipping sauce.

Enjoy your homemade dove poppers as a tasty and savory treat and relish in the successful Dove hunt!