Dove with Minnesota Wild Rice - By Kelly Yandell
Author: Kelly Yandell ('the meaning of pie' blog)
Prep time: 2 hours Total time: 2 hours Serves: 4
Try something new with the bounty from opening day.
- 10 to 12 dove, cleaned
- ½ cup salt (divided use)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 strips of bacon
- ½ cup cherry preserves
- ½ to ¾ cup Frozen (thawed) or fresh cherries (pitted), chopped or pulsed in the food processor
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ClearJel or Cornstarch
- ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup wild rice (Minnesota variety, the long ¾ inch black stuff)
- 3 cups chicken broth (plus more if needed)
- ½ cup Spanish Almonds, chopped coarsely
- ½ cup dried cherries, chopped coarsely
- Skin and breast the dove. Submerge the dove breasts in a solution of 2 quarts water and ¼ cup table salt. Put the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to begin cooking, remove the dove from the refrigerator. Prepare a new bowl with a solution of 2 quarts water and ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup table salt. Remove the breast from the bone, using a sharp paring knife. Place the filets in the new brine. Allow the breast filets to sit in the bowl at room temperature for an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the wild rice. In a covered medium saucepan, simmer the rice in 3 cups of chicken broth for up to an hour until it softens. Add additional chicken broth if needed. This rice is still al dente when ready. When the rice is finished simmering, add the almonds and the dried cherries. Put the rice in a small casserole dish and add about ¼ cup broth to it and dot the dish with slices of butter. Cover with foil and place in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. You should be aware if you have never had this type of rice before that it is very chewy, not even remotely like the soft white rice to which we are accustomed. If you don’t like whole grains or such earthy fare, you might choose a more typical wild rice.
- In a small saucepan, combine the preserves, the fresh or thawed chopped cherries, sugar, ClearJel (or cornstarch) and ¾ cup broth. Allow to simmer until thickened and reduced by about half. You can set this aside and simply warm it up right before serving. ClearJel is a thickening agent that I like. I get it from the King Arthur Flour Company.
- Drain the dove breasts. Rinse them twice with fresh water. Lay them out on paper towels and pat them dry. With a mortar and pestle, combine the thyme, sage, salt and pepper. The kosher salt is chunky and helps pulverize the herbs. Grind the herbs until they are uniform and powdery. Sprinkle a little of the herbs on each little breast and rub it in. After you have applied the herbs, very lightly dust the breasts with flour. Render the fat from 3 strips of bacon by cooking it in a skillet on low heat. When the fat has rendered (but before the pan starts browning) remove the bacon, leaving the grease in the skillet. Over medium heat, sauté the breasts, avoiding over-crowding so that they brown nicely. You can add butter to the skillet if you find the bacon grease insufficient. You only need to cook them about 1½ to 2 minutes per side. You want it seared and browned but still medium to medium rare on the inside. Remove the dove to a rack placed in a warm oven. Continue cooking until all the dove are cooked. Serve the dove over the rice, with the cherry sauce spooned on top.