Grilled-Bacon-Wrapped Dove, Quail, or Pheasant



Almost 29 years ago I married a hunter. He enjoys hunting almost anything, and he likes to fish too. When Wes was born a little over 23 years ago, Greg knew he had a life-long hunting partner. Hunting and fishing are sports that the men in this family have enjoyed for generations. When we were young married, with no kids, I would spend the weekend at deer camp with Greg, my father-in-law, and my brother-in-law.

I even went hunting by myself one time. Yes, you read that correctly…one time. After convincing my best friend, Loretta, to take a Hunter’s Safety class with me, I sat in a stand, with a gun, by myself. I enjoyed being in the woods. Every sound I heard I imagined a huge deer, bigger than anything Greg had ever seen, walking straight to me. I ended up shooting at a deer and missing and crying all evening. I’m not sure how I would have handled it had I killed the deer.

That was my last time hunting with a gun. Since then I have taken my camera. I still enjoy the peacefulness of the woods, but for some reason, Greg won’t take me because he says I’m not quite enough. We are passed those young married days when he wanted to spend every moment with me so now I’m left at the house. (I’m actually okay with that, though!)

I have had to cook my share of fish and game over the years. Dove season opened here last Saturday so I thought I would share this easy Emeril recipe that Greg and Wes love. This recipe works well with dove, quail, or pheasant, and probably any other bird you wanted to try. Simply adjust the cooking times to accommodate the size of your bird.

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Quail, Dove or Pheasant with Bourbon Pepper Glaze
  • 8 quail, dove, or pheasant, dressed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 strips thick-cut bacon
  • ½ c. pepper jelly
  • 3 tbsp. bourbon
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  1. Season each bird with salt and pepper. Wrap a slice of bacon around the bird and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-low.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the pepper jelly, bourbon, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
  4. Place the bacon-wrapped quail on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for 12 minutes or so, or until the bacon is beginning to caramelize in places and the birds have grill marks on all sides.
  5. Brush the birds with the glaze and continue turning, glazing, and cooking until the birds are nicely glazed and grilled on all sides and the flesh is cooked through, about 12 minutes longer. (Internal temperature of 165°F).
  6. Remove from grill and rest briefly before serving.


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