Roasted Doves and Maitake with Poblano Cream Sauce on Grits

Roasted Doves and Maitake with Poblano Cream Sauce on Grits

This dish is an elegant yet super hearty way to enjoy one dove per diner!

If you can’t find doves, you can use quail instead, just increase the cooking time by a couple minutes. 

Doves can be eaten medium rare, and that’s definitely where they taste their best.

  • Prep Time45 min
  • Cook Time45 min
  • Total Time1 hr 30 min
  • Yield4 servings
  • Serving Size1 dove each


For the Poblano Sauce

  • 3-4 poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon oil or lard
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cloves, garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup (9g) cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) 50/50 cream
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (optional)
  • Kosher salt

For the Doves and Mushrooms

  • 4 whole plucked doves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2lb (225g) maitake/hen of the woods mushroom
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) neutral oil
  • Black pepper
  • 6 sage leaves, chopped
  • Herbs and edible flowers for garnish

For the Grits

  • 1 cup (250g) white corn grits (not instant)
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • 4oz (120g) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7g) butter


Before Cooking


Sprinkle a good pinch of kosher salt over the doves and let them sit, refrigerated, for 2-24 hours. 

Let doves come to room temperature for 1 hour before cooking. 

For the Poblano Sauce


Grill or broil the poblano peppers until the skin is black and blistered. 

Put the peppers into a brown paper bag, or plastic bag, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. 

Peel the skin off of the peppers, then cut off the stems, open the peppers up and scrape out the seeds. There’s no need to be gentle as you’ll be puréeing the peppers. 


Add the oil to a skillet over medium high heat, then add the onions. 

Cook until beginning to brown, about 5-8 minutes. 

Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.


Add the onions and garlic, poblanos, cilantro, cream, olive oil, and bouillon cube to a blender. 

Blend on high until smooth. 

Taste for salt, and add some if necessary. 

Set the sauce aside for the time being. 

For the Doves and Mushrooms


Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C, gas mark 10)

Tear the mushroom(s) into 4 equal pieces. 

Put the mushrooms and doves onto a sheet pan.

Drizzle everything with the oil and toss. 

Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and the sage leaves to the mushrooms, and season the doves with pepper. 



Put the sheet pan in the oven with both the doves and the mushrooms on it, arranged so nothing is touching. 

Roast for 3 minutes (set a timer). Flip the birds and roast for another 3 minutes. 

Remove the birds and put the mushrooms back into the oven. Roast until the mushrooms are golden and crispy, another 5-10 minutes. 

The doves should rest at least 10 minutes after being cooked. 


For the Grits


Meanwhile, add the chicken stock to a medium pot over high heat. 

Bring to a boil. Once boiling, sprinkle in the grits, whisking the entire time. 

Reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes, whisking often (every 2-3 minutes at least). 

Add the corn kernels, then cook for another 15 minutes. 

Add the cheese and whisk it in until melted and incorporated, another 5-10 minutes. 

Whisk in butter, then take off the heat. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. 

To Plate


Spoon the grits out evenly onto each plate, then swirl a spoon around the grits to form a pressed down circle. 

Perch a dove and a piece of maitake onto the grits, then spoon over the poblano cream sauce. 

Garnish with fresh herbs and edible flowers if you wish. A simple cilantro leaf would look nice too. 

Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Roasted Doves and Maitake with Poblano Cream Sauce on Grits

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