Wild Recipes

Crunchy Corn Nut Dove with Ranch Dip

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Dove season has come and dove recipes seem to be few and far between. On our last Harvesting Nature podcast about Grey Feathered Mini Missiles we talked about dove poppers and how they’re a go-to for many but need to be elevated in a way to modernize them. We also talked about how several other recipes but the general consensus is that there aren’t many. One thing I’ve never seen is essentially “chicken fried” dove. Who doesn’t like crunching into a nice fried chicken? I figured I would try a way to get the crunchiest fried dove by coating it in one of the crunchiest things around; Corn Nuts! Let me tell you this recipe doesn’t disappoint. So if you’re ready for a crunch and a new way to cook up some dove, this is the one for you!

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Crunchy Corn Nut Dove w/ Ranch dip

Recipe by Ara Zada
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Course: Wild Recipes


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  • 8 dove, whole

  • 3 cups buttermilk

  • 2 cups pickle juice

  • 2 cups Corn nuts, Original flavor

  • 1 cup flour

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, ground

  • 1 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 quart frying oil

  • Ranch dip
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 2 ounce buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Remove the spines from the dove using poetry sheers by by cutting up each side of the spine. Lay the dove flat on a cutting board and gently press down with the palm of your hand to flatten them out. Repeat with remains dove.
  • Brine the dove: In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of buttermilk and 2 cups of pickle juice and the dove. Toss them all together and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 min or up to overnight. The longer the better on this
  • Combine all the Ranch dip ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. Set it aside.
  • In a food processor pulse the corn nuts until they are fine like bread crumbs.
  • Heat your frying oil to 375 degrees.
  • Remove the dove from the brine and pat them dry. Get 3 small bowls ready for coating your dove. Season the flour with salt and pepper in one bowl. 1 cup of buttermilk in another bowl and the ground up corn nuts in another.
  • Coat the dove with flour and pat off the excess. Then dip it into the buttermilk draining the excess. Then coat it in the corn nuts. Repeat with remaining dove.
  • Fry the dove in the oil for 3-5 min or until the outside in golden brown. Be sure not to over crowd the pan as this will bring down the oil temperature. So do it in batches.
  • Once all your dove are fried serve it with a side of the dipping sauce and enjoy the major crunch!

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Ara Zada

Born and raised in Los Angeles Ara Zada is a chef, author, TV personality, food stylist and avid bow hunter. He has worked with Outdoor News, PBS, Food Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Jaime Oliver Food Foundation and a range of others. His first cookbook ‘Lavash’ was released Oct. 2019. When he’s not cooking he’s shooting his bow, teaching his kids about the outdoors, training for triathlons and filling any available time with parkour.

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