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12 Days of Gifts brought to you by MeatEater and Weston Brands continues. This is our way of giving back to our amazing community. Steven, Janis, and the MeatEaters-At-Large came together to create 12 how-to videos that cover some of our favorite wild game preparations.  Check back throughout the month of December for more exciting wild game recipes.

A lot of hunters will breast out a dove. That gets 90% of the usable meat on a Mourning dove. However, the thighs and drumsticks are fantastic too. Steven Rinella shows you a simple and fast way to use your whole dove.

Fried Whole Mourning Doves 

Serves 4 as an appetizer


8 whole mourning doves

1 cup fine or medium ground cornmeal

½ cup all-purpose flour

3  tablespoons Creole seasoning (I prefer Tony Chachere’s, which is widely available.  To make your own blend, see below.)

Kosher salt

1 bunch fresh curly parsley

Peanut or vegetable oil

Preheat the oil to 375°F in an electric deep-fryer or over a stovetop in a Dutch oven. You need enough oil to submerge the doves; a depth of 3 inches will work.

Special Equipment:



Combine the cornmeal, flour, and 2 tablespoons of the Creole seasoning in a large bowl and mix to combine. Sprinkle each dove with a small pinch of the remaining Creole seasoning and rub it into the breast and legs. Working with one or two at time, toss the doves into the cornmeal mixture and coat thoroughly on all surfaces. Working in two batches, fry the doves in the oil for 4 minutes. Roll them around a few times as they cook so that all sides are brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and place them on a platter lined with paper towels to cool. After the last batch of doves is cooked, drop several bundles of parsley containing a few sprigs each into the hot oil and fry for 1 minute. Garnish the platter with the crispy parsley sprigs and serve as soon as the doves are cool enough to handle.

Creole Seasoning Blend:

3 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon cayenne

1 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Mix the paprika, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, and thyme in a small bowl.

You can find all the special equipment used for this recipe at Weston

Cooking Game: Whole-Fried Mourning Doves brought to you by Weston