When it comes to grilling small birds like dove and quail, a good glaze combined with hot and fast cooking are key. The high heat allows the sugar in the glaze to caramelize without overcooking the meat.
It’s worth tracking down shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend. The spices add a little heat to counterbalance the sweet glaze, which is made up of just four ingredients. If you have the ingredients in your pantry, this is an easy recipe to throw together and it’s versatile enough to work on other game birds like duck.
Serve the grilled dove with fresh cilantro, roasted cashews, and sliced green onions. Reserve a portion of the glaze for drizzling over jasmine rice or grilled veggies to make a full meal.
- 12 to 16 whole doves, plucked
- Duck fat or oil for cooking
- 2 tsp. shichimi togarashi*
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. sesame seeds
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- Handful of fresh cilantro
- Handful of roasted cashews or peanuts, crushed
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- Large knob of ginger
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. red or white miso paste
Also works with
- Prep the dove by plucking each bird, keeping the skin on. Pat dry.
- Mix the shichimi togarashi, salt, and sesame seeds together. Rub each dove with a little bit of oil or duck fat and sprinkle with the spice mix (a little goes a long way here). Set aside until ready to grill.
- Heat a small sauce pot over medium-high heat and add the orange juice.
- Peel the skin off a knob of ginger and grate until you have 2 full tablespoons. Add the ginger and honey to the potand bring to a soft boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by half (1 cup), about 35 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool. Once cool to the touch, whisk in the miso paste until combined. Reserve half the glaze for serving on the side and use the other half for brushing on the dove as they grill.
- Preheat the grill on high until it reaches a minimum temperature of 500°F. Once hot, add each dove face down and grill for a couple of minutes. Flip the dove over and brush with glaze. Close the lid, and continue grilling for an additional 5 minutes or longer, brushing the glaze on top of each bird multiple times. Remove the birds when they reach medium-rare. The meat should still be slightly pink in the center.
- Serve with reserved citrus-miso glaze, and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and crushed nuts.
*You can buy shichimi togarashi in specialty grocery stores and online. Although the blend is made up of seven different spices, you can use crushed red pepper flakes, orange zest, and dried garlic as a substitute.