I love grilled doves. Doves and squab, which is a domestic pigeon, are generally low in fat but tender, so they grill really well. Normally I make Doves a la Mancha with my first hunt’s worth, but after that I really like a good Cajun or Creole spice rub on my doves.
This recipe is ridiculously simple: Toss doves with the spice rub. Let them sit awhile, then grill over high heat until the skin is crispy and the meat is cooked.
- 8-12 doves or 4 domestic squab or 8 quail
- 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Creole or Cajun spice rub
- Coat the doves in the oil, then toss in a bag or plastic container with the spice rub. Let the birds sit in the fridge for at least an hour, and up to a day.
- When you are ready to cook them, get the grill hot, but leave a cooler spot where there are no coals underneath, or, if you have a gas grill, turn off one burner. Make sure the grates are clean, and right before you put the doves on the grill, wipe down the grill with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. Use tongs to do this.
- Put the doves or squab, breast side up, on that cool side of the grill for 5 minutes with the grill cover down.
- Move the doves to one side -- you're searing the wings and legs here -- and grill over the hot side of the grill (with the cover up) for 2 minutes, or until the side is nice and browned. Repeat on the other side.
- Finally, flip the doves so the breast is facing the flame and grill for another 1-2 minutes, or until the breast is nicely browned, with a little char on it. Let the doves rest for 5 minutes before eating.