Spicy Fried Dove: Your New Dove Season Favorite

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It’s dove season in Texas! This time of year, many of us find our freezer full of these little nuggets, but may not have a plethora of recipes for preparing our hard-won bounty. Dove breast can be a tricky meat to work with, as the gamey quality and lean nature tend to work together to foil even experienced home cooks. Often we are resigned to wrapping them up in bacon with a slice of jalapeño….year…after…year. Not that there’s anything wrong with dove poppers — they’re great for tailgating or backyard BBQ — but if you are on the hunt for an alternative this season, give this quick recipe a try. You are in for a treat!

Spicy Fried Dove

Spicy Fried Dove


This recipe is super flexible, so adjust any and everything to fit your quantity, spice preference, etc. For the sake of simplicity, these instructions assume you are dealing with 1 bag limit of average-sized dove, breasts removed and cleaned for consumption.

  • 15 dove breasts
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce (such as Tapatío, etc.)
  • 1 cup spicy Cajun-style fish fry mix
  • Canola oil, for frying (or whatever oil you prefer)


Place dove in gallon-sized zip top bag or dish. Add hot sauce to buttermilk and pour over breasts covering completely with liquid. Zip bag or cover dish and chill in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 6-8 hours (you want to maximize that “marination”!).

Spread Cajun fry mix in shallow dish. Remove dove from refrigerator and, working in batches, pull breasts from buttermilk mixture, dredge in fry mix, and place in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Your frying oil should be hot, but not smoking. Avoid overcrowding the skillet so breasts can fry evenly.  Fry dove breasts for 1-2 minutes, turning as needed, until golden and just cooked through. When done, remove breasts onto plate or rack lined with paper towels to rest and drain. Serve warm and enjoy!