Doves are a great way to enjoy the fall weather, delicious, easy to clean, and great fun to hunt. After the hunt you need to clean the doves before they spoil. This is a very easy job, all that is needed is one item and you're good to go!
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What You'll Need:
- A fresh dove
- A hose with the "flat" setting (optional)
Without further ado, the process!
Step 1: Plucking
This is the easiest step. All you have to do is to grab the feathers and pull them off until the entire breast is exposed as pictured above.
-Tip: I find it easiest to start at the base and work my up the breast. Try to grab the feathers at the base to avoid breaking the delicate skin.
Step 2: Breasting
Hold the bird in your hand on it's back with the head at your fingers and the tail at your wrist. Identify the two ends of the breast bone as marked by the red dots in the image above. Place your thumb under the tail end of the breast bone and press firmly until it pops through to the body cavity. Push your thumb all the way up until you reach the other end of the breast bone.
-Tip: I find it easiest to keep my finger pressed against the top of the body cavity to avoid piercing any innards.
Place your pointer finger at the top of the breast bone, grabbing the breast firmly. Firmly grasp the body of the bird while pivoting the breast on the wing bones and lifting it upwards away from the rest of the body until the breast is only attached by the wing joints. Peel the skin back from the breast at both ends. Firmly grasp the breast in one hand and the body in the other. Twist the breast, breaking the wing joints loose and lift the breast away.
Step 3: Cleaning
Use the "Flat" setting on a hose to spray down the bird until all blood and feathers are gone. Pick off any remaining skin, membrane, or anything that you don't want to eat.
Discard the body and feathers and package or cook fresh.