Dove Breast with Crispy Bacon and Chipotle White Sauce

Dove Breast with Crispy Bacon and Chipotle White Sauce
Serves 6-8

Unless you’re a hunter, doves are only available through friends that hunt. Dove season is a group activity and opening day is in September. Basically, the best part of the bird is the breast, which are best when cooked quickly on the grill—it’s important not to overcook them. The shishito peppers in this recipe are mild, but you’ll find an occasional one that’s really fiery, so hold on to your britches! They add a wonderful brightness to game meat.

What you need:
12 strips bacon
12 dove breasts, split in half
1 tablespoon Cool Smoke Rub
24 shishito peppers, or 12 hatch chilis ) available at most specialty groceries
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1¼ cups Chipotle White Sauce  

What to do:
1. Prepare the Chipotle White Sauce.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil, and arrange the bacon strips on it. Cook 9 to 12 minutes, until the fat is mostly rendered but the bacon is not yet crisp. Set the bacon aside to cool slightly, and slice in half on the bias.

4. Use a sharp knife to halve each breast vertically. Season each half-breast with ¼ teaspoon Cool Smoke Rub. Wrap each half-breast with a half slice of bacon and secure the bacon with a toothpick.

5. When you are ready to cook, heat the grill to 400 degrees F, using the direct grilling method.

6. Toss the shishito peppers, or hatch chilis, in a bowl with the olive oil, and season them to taste with salt and pepper. Place the peppers on the grill, directly over the hot coals, and cook 6 minutes, or until the skin blisters. Use tongs to flip the peppers, and cook them an additional 6 minutes, or until the skin is evenly blistered. Transfer the peppers to a large, clean bowl and set aside.

7.Place the wrapped dove breasts on the grill, directly over the hot coals, and cook 4 minutes. Flip the breasts and cook an additional 4 minutes for medium rare meat, or until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of a breast reads an internal temperature of 128 degrees F. Transfer the dove to a rimmed baking sheet and brush each breast overall with Chipotle White Sauce.

8. Return the dove breasts to the grill and cook a final 3 minutes to set the sauce. Add the cooked breasts to the bowl of peppers, or chilis, and toss with ½ cup Chipotle White Sauce to coat. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

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