Fried Whole Doves

INGREDIENTS:

8 to 12 doves, plucked and gutted
Salt

CAJUN OPTION:
1 1/2 cups of fine cornmeal (“fish fry” mix)
2 to 3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
Remoulade, for Cajun doves

MIDDLE EASTERN OPTION:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat or chickpea flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon sumac (optional)
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne, or to your taste
1 teaspoon fenugreek (optional)
Oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

Wash the doves and set aside at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
Pour the oil — I use canola or peanut or cheap olive oil — into a deep-fryer or heavy, high-sided pot like a Dutch oven. A fryer will have a fill line. Pour no more than 2/3 of a pot’s depth, and half is better. Don’t worry, you can reuse the oil. Heat the oil slowly, over medium heat, to 350°F. If you are using olive oil, keep it at 340°F.
Meanwhile, mix the flour or cornmeal and all the spices together in a bowl and coat the doves. Make sure you get it into the cavity, too.
When the oil is hot, drop in a couple doves at a time and let them fry for 5 to 7 minutes, turning them to be sure they are golden brown all over. Let drain on a wire rack in an oven set to ‘warm.’ Serve with a bowl for the bones and give your guests plenty of napkins.

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