Archive for the 'Dove' Category

Beyond Bacon: Dove Carnitas a la Killer Chefs

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
Dove Carnitas a la Killer Chefs. Photo: Jesse Morris.

Dove Carnitas a la Killer Chefs. Photo: Jesse Morris.

This is Passport to Texas

With dove season underway in the north and central zones, bacon wrapped dove breasts will soon show up on the tables of hunters everywhere.

People don’t really like eating doves, they like eating bacon, if that’s the only way that they cook it.

Jesse Morris is a hunter and chef with Killer Chefs in Richardson, Texas. He says there are more inventive ways to enjoy dove—including carnitas.

Everybody’s go-to recipe—and there’s nothing wrong with it – is bacon wrapped dove. It’s nice to actually use all the bird. So, you can use the heart in the carnitas, and the legs, and the breast meat, and everything. Cooking that down low and slow; finishing it off, letting all the sugars come out in the product. It’s something good.

If you’re a new hunter and longtime foodie, you may be tempted to “go gourmet” when preparing dove or any game. Jesse recommends to start simply.

People get off on wanting to cover them in sauces or gravy, and things like that – when they’re really not tasting the bird, or whatever game that it is that they’re eating. When you’re first starting out cooking wild game, cook it simply: grill it; salt and pepper. See what the flavors that the actual game is, and then work with that.

We have Jesse Morris’ dove carnitas recipe at Passport to Texas dot com.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.


Killer Chef’s Dove Carnitas Recipe
by Jesse Morris
One of my all time favorites and go to recipe is carnitas. They are flavorful and easy to cook. My version of the recipe is not totally traditional. I like to lighten it up and use things that I can find around me in the late August early September months. If you don’t like the idea of using real sugar cokes, then don’t use it. You may substitute piloncillo, an unrefined sugar, and water.

1 pound salt pork, large cubed
Pig skin or pig ears, you may use the skin from the salt pork
1 white onion, rough chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound block of lard
10 dove plucked and cleaned doves quartered and hearts (trust me)
1 bunch fresh thyme, whole
1 bunch fresh oregano, whole
2 sticks Mexican cinnamon
1 Meyer lemon (or small orange), peeled, rind and juice
3 Mexican real sugar cokes

In a deep, heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven brown the salt pork.
Add onions and garlic to pan and sauté for a few minutes.
Then add lard and allow it to melt and begin to slightly fry ingredients in pan.
Next add dove and remainder of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour on medium/high heat until meat is tender and the cloudy look of the coke and lard turns semi clear.
Pick all the meat and some of the lemon peel out. Pull apart the meat to prep for serving.
Finish off on flat top or cast iron pan till caramelized.
I prefer to garnish with charred jalapeno, chimichuri and a slice of lime or Meyer lemon.

Dove: Good Flavor Begins in the Field

Monday, September 4th, 2017
Ready for dove.

Ready for dove.

This is Passport to Texas

Jesse Morris is a hunter and professional chef; he traded his chef’s jacket for a new career that allows him to spend more time with his family.

I felt that I needed to have a creative outlet to continue food. Two of my greatest passions were food and hunting, so I decided what better way to celebrate what I was doing than to put those together; and that’s how Killer Chefs was born.

He shares these passions through the Killer Chefs website. Dove season is underway in the north and central zones. Jesse says: don’t expect this bird to taste like chicken.

When people think about wild game, the thoughts in their head are: ‘It tastes livery.’ That’s the word that they use. It has a flavor to it. But, what will give it that ‘off taste’ is not handling it properly.

Dove has a good flavor, but needs proper handling to ensure full enjoyment.

The very first thing in terms of food that you really want to think about, especially it being as hot as it is, is getting that animal cooled down. I always put the birds in a cooler right after they’re shot. Getting that body temperature cooled down as quickly as possible – that’s the most important thing.

That one act can mean the difference between delicious and disaster. Tomorrow: beyond bacon.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Good Timing & Skill = Successful Dove Season

Friday, August 11th, 2017
Taking aim at dove.

Taking aim at dove.

This is Passport to Texas

Beginning in September, dove hunters have 90 days to harvest this plentiful game bird.

We harvest over five million mourning doves annually – which is an amazing number if you think about it. We’re the number one dove harvest state in the nation.

Shaun Oldenburger, migratory shore and upland game bird program leader, says that’s just a small percentage of available birds.

We have a lot of biologists out there trapping birds right now. And we’re seeing a lot of hatch year young – juvenile birds in the population – so that means it will be a good opening season for folks getting out September first, or whenever their opening day is in their zone.

Dove hunting is “front end loaded” meaning most hunters that want to hunt… do so early in the season.

In some places, especially our north zone, pretty much by the first week in October, 90 percent of the harvest has already occurred for that zone for the season. Now, we do have a 90 day season, so it’s a long season. But, what we do is allow those other days to occur for other folks that may have an opportunity later on. We want to make those hunting seasons as flexible as possible for folks, because some people may enjoy going later when there’s not as many hunters out. So we allot a lot of flexibility for dove hunting.

Find bag limits and other hunting regulations on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show, The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series, and funds Mourning Dove Density, Distribution, and Harvest surveys in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Preparing for Dove Season

Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Dove hunting. Photo: TPWD

Dove hunting. Photo: TPWD

This is Passport to Texas

As the dove season opener approaches, hunters should ask themselves if they are ready to go into the field.

Make sure that you have all of your licenses before the hunting season. And also make sure that you have your hunter safety card.

Shaun Oldenburger is the migratory shore and upland game bird program leader. Licenses and hunter safety cards are just the beginning of preparedness.

Another thing we ask hunters to do before September first is to actually dust off that shotgun, get outside and shoot some clays. Practice a little bit with your shotgun. You know, a lot of folks stumble around August 31st trying to find all their gear before September first. But a couple of weeks prior, get your stuff together, spend a little time going through it. Get out and shoot some clays. Get out and practice a little bit with that shotgun. You can have a lot better experience on your first hunting day. Are you going to get out there this season? I hope so. I actually have a meeting in Kansas that week, but I’m definitely going to get out that weekend, and hopefully get an opportunity to harvest some white wing doves and mourning doves.

Find season information and bag limits for all fall hunting opportunities on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show, funded in part by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. Through your purchases of hunting and fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, over 40 million dollars in conservation efforts are funded in Texas each year.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Promising Dove Season Ahead

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

This is Passport to Texas

Wing shooters are finalizing their plans for the dove season opener, September 1 in the north and central zones, and September 22 in the south zone.

When we look at mourning harvests historically, we see the central part of the state has been very good along with south Texas. Those are really the two strongholds for good harvest counties when we look at distribution of harvest across the counties of Texas.

Shaun Oldenburger is the migratory shore and upland game bird program leader. He says data returned thus far suggests a good dove season statewide.

The great thing about doves is they’re a generalist. So, no matter if you go to the Trans Pecos desert, or if you’re in east Texas Pineywoods with 80-inches of rain the last couple of years, we’ve got doves. So, that’s one thing that really makes dove hunting attractive to folks, is they can get out pretty much anywhere in the state and have success.

Oldenburger says dove hunting provides a gateway into the hunting tradition for folks new to the activity. And you just need the basics to get started.

You don’t need a whole lot [of specialized gear] for dove hunting. You have to have your hunting license, and then also you need a shotgun and shotgun shells. And you need a spot to go. In reality – that’s all you need for dove hunting.

How to prepare for the season ahead. That’s next time.

The Wildlife Restoration Program supports our series, and funds Mourning Dove Density, Distribution, and Harvest surveys in Texas. .

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti