Seeping cooked gamebirds in a vinegar-based marinade, for a dish known as escabeche, is an ancient method of both preservation and maximizing flavor, especially prevalent in Spain and Latin America. With its doves and green olives, this lush, fragrant escabeche pays homage to Cordoba, Argentina, South America’s dove-shooting capital.
Ingredients | Serves 4
- 8–10 doves, plucked and gutted
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 carrots, halved crosswise,
- then sliced into ribbons
- 2 celery stalks, halved crosswise, then sliced into ribbons
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 6 radishes, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1⁄2 cup green olives
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 juniper berries
- 4 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Generously salt and pepper the doves. Heat 1⁄4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Sear the doves, in batches, for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1⁄4 cup olive oil along with the carrots, celery, onion, and radishes and reduce the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, then add the garlic and paprika and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits, and bring to a boil. Add the olives, thyme, juniper berries, bay leaves, and vinegar, then return the doves to the pot. Add the chicken stock. (The birds should be mostly but not completely submerged; add more stock or water as necessary.)
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is very tender. Let cool.
- Transfer the doves with the liquid to a glass container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. To serve, bring to room temperature or gently warm and enjoy with crusty bread and salad.
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Drink pairing: ¡Salud!
The bracing acidity of escabeche will knock out older, deeper wines. So you want to reach for something fresh and spirited: a fruit-forward Spanish red, such as a young garnacha, or a medium-dry riesling.
Another fine option is Madeira. Look for a drier variety called Sercial, which you can also put to use in a pre-dinner highball by adding tonic water and a twist of lemon over ice.