Dove Poppers

I get that dove poppers are celebratory and easy to make in the field. But if a person didn’t know better, they’d think that these little birds taste like bacon. That’s the problem with bacon — it makes everything else taste like bacon. Some would say that’s the whole point, while others might feel that too much of a good thing can turn into a not-so-good thing. As for me, I’m good on poppers for another 6 years. 

But if you happen to really like poppers — more power to you, enjoy your wild game however you want — maybe marinate the breasts beforehand and then glaze the poppers in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg before they come off the grill. It’s like meat candy.

Use cheap bacon with poppers. Expensive, thick-cut bacon takes too long to render.

Servings: 2 appetizer servings (12 poppers)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
- Breasts from 6 doves (12 total breasts)
- 6 slices of cheap bacon
- Cream cheese
- 3 jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried crushed rosemary
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Brown Sugar Glaze
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water 


1. Butterfly each dove breast. Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and add dove. Marinate for 30 minutes. Cut jalapeños into 12 strips; remove seeds and ribs for less heat.

2. Prepare grill for direct heat cooking at about 350° Fahrenheit. Cut each slice of bacon into two, which should give you a total of 12 short pieces of bacon. Stuff each marinated dove breast with a small dollop of cream cheese and a strip of jalapeño. Wrap a piece of bacon around the stuffed breast and secure with a toothpick. 

3. Lay the poppers onto the hot grill and cook until bacon is rendered and browned, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients. A few minutes before you remove the poppers from the grill, baste the poppers with the glaze. Serve warm.