Mesquite Grilled Dove Wraps

Only a handful of phrases evoke a special sense of excitement and passion within the Texas outdoor enthusiast. “White Wing Season Opener” is one of them.

The opportunity to pit your shooting skills against the dipping, diving, soaring white wing dove is an experience that can rarely be matched. Literally thousands of hunters will take to the field to try their skill, and thousands of White Wings will be harvested.

After you have your quarry, it is time to expand your hunting experience into a culinary treat for family and friends. Try this recipe for a new taste experience and relive the hunt with each satisfying bite!

Would you ever take a fish after being caught, and allow it to sit out in the heat for a couple of hours? I didn’t think so.

Yet, when dove hunting, most hunters place their doves they’ve bagged in the “game pocket” on the back of their hunting vest, sometimes for hours. This allows a concentration of enzymes and bacteria tosettle into the meat.

You should have a cooler bag handy with ice and a few gallon-size freezer zip-lock bags. Personalize each bag if two or more hunters share a cooler.

Try to place your doves in the cooler within 45 minutes or so. This is to preserve the doves until they can be cleaned properly. The brine that I describe in this recipe will aid in removing these undesirable enzymes and flavors from the meat, so you can begin with the clean and natural flavor of the dove.


24 dove breasts (when removed from breastbone will yield 48 halves)

24 Jalapeños (halved and seeded to make 48 halves)

2 purple onions peeled and cut into one inch thick wedges

2 cakes of cream cheese (allow to sit out to soften for 1-2 hours)

2 – 3 lbs of thin sliced bacon

1 box of round toothpicks

Basil leaves, black pepper, garlic salt

Serves 12-16

For the Brine

Fillet the breast meat from the breastplate, removing pellets, feathers, or damaged meat. Place the fillet halves into a large bowl of ice water. They should be fully submersed.

Add ½ cup sea salt to ½ gallon of ice water. Allow meat to sit for 1-2 hours. Pour off water and rinse the meat again with cold water.


In a mixing bowl, add the following to the cream cheese: 1 tablespoon each of black pepper, garlic salt and basil leaves

Stuff a Jalapeno half with ¾ tsp of cream cheese mixture.Stack the breast on top of the cream cheese-filled jalapeno and top with the purple onion on the dove breast half. Wrap the pepper and breast half with a half slice of bacon. Hold the bacon in place with a moist round toothpick. (Be sure to wrap tightly to hold in cheese)

For the Baste

(The baste will help cook the bacon faster and keep the meat from overcooking and drying out.)

1 whole bottle of Syrah or Merlot wine

¾ jar Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly

3 T Soy Sauce

3 T Olive Oil

1 T Dijon Mustard

3 tsp. Beef Bullion

1 T Butter

1 T Black Pepper

2 T Rosemary leaves-chopped coarsely

2 cloves of fresh minced garlic

Place all of above ingredients in a saucepan, over medium heat and reduce by ½ of volume. Remove from heat.


Because they are small & delicate, and prone to flare ups on the fire, place the dove wraps indirectly over medium high heat on the grill, and keep it covered when you’re not basting them. Turn the wraps every 4-5 minutes and baste them every time you turn them until bacon is browned. Remove from the grill to a platter, and cover loosely with a piece of foil for approx. 7-8 minutes to rest the meat. Then remove the toothpicks and enjoy. 

Recipe by Bryan Slaven

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