Wild Game Recipe: Grilled Dove Pizza

Here’s how to cap off an adventurous day afield with an adventure at the grill. With its crispy, smoky crust, … Continued

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Here’s how to cap off an adventurous day afield with an adventure at the grill. With its crispy, smoky crust, grilled pizza is a majestic thing, and this recipe cranks up that majesty by topping the pizza with an earthy combination of dove breasts, wild mushrooms, and sage. Your local pizzeria will usually sell you a round of raw dough, or use fresh or frozen store-bought dough to make life easy.

Ingredients:
-4 dove (or other gamebird) breasts
-2 slices bacon
-1 lb. wild mushrooms (shiitakes work, or use a blend)
-9 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
-6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
-11⁄2 cups fontina cheese, grated
-3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
-1 round uncooked pizza dough
-Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
Salt and pepper the dove breasts and wrap each with a half slice of bacon, securing it with a toothpick that has been soaked in water for about 30 minutes. Set up your grill for two-level cooking, with one side high and the other medium so you can slide the pizza around and prevent scorching. (For charcoal grills, this means arranging the coals with a large pile on one side and a smaller pile on the other.) Grill the dove breasts over the medium side until the bacon is cooked.

Stem the mushrooms, and put the caps in a bowl. Add 3 Tbsp. olive oil, and gently toss to coat. Arrange them on the grill over medium heat, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes per side for shiitakes.

Remove the toothpicks from the dove breasts, and chop them–bacon and all–into small pieces. Put these in a bowl. Slice the mushrooms and add these to the dove breasts and bacon, then add the sage. Put the cheese in another bowl.

Sprinkle the flour on a large cutting board or clean countertop and dust your hands with it, too. Divide the pizza dough in half. (Two smaller pizzas work better on the grill than one large one.) Flatten each half into a 1⁄4-inch-thick disk, stretching either by hand or with a rolling pin. Slather the tops and bottoms with 1 Tbsp. olive oil per side.

With your toppings close by, drape the dough rounds onto the hot side of the grill. Within a minute or so, they will begin to puff up. Using tongs and a wide spatula (or a pizza peel, if you’re so equipped), slide the crusts to the medium side and cook until the bottoms are firm and browned, about 4 minutes. Flip them over back onto the hot side, and cook for 1 more minute.

Slide the crusts to the medium side. Drizzle or brush the tops with the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, then divide the cheese between the two crusts. Do likewise with the dove and mushroom mixture, scattering the toppings evenly. Cover the grill to melt the cheese, and cook for about 3 to 5 more minutes. (Don’t worry if the bottom is a little scorched.) Transfer the pizzas to a platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. Serves 4