Cooking Game: Fried Whole Dove

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. Here, Steven shows you a simple and fast way to use your whole dove.

Whole-Fried 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

Special Equipment:

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.

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 a 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.