Game-Day Substitutions

posted on November 4, 2013

What is on your menu for football season? How about some wild-game alternatives to the traditional game-day grub? Here are some of my favorite go-to recipes from across the web that incorporate wild game into the menu, both as main course options and simple finger food. Give these a try, it is a great way to make room in your freezer for more fresh meat that you’ll be gathering this hunting season.

1. Devil Doves are a fun play on “Devils on Horseback.” These offer that sweet, salty, fatty goodness in bite-sized packages. The sweetness of the dates blend with creamy goat cheese and smoky bacon. You will love the taste of these, and the best part is that you can try this recipe with many other birds, too, when doves aren’t available; quail works especially well.

2. Beer Battered Dove Breasts are a great substitute for chicken nuggets. They’re wonderful when you prefer to breast your bird. It is simple and only requires ingredients that are usually on hand anyway during a dove hunt—birds and beer. Upon tasting this recipe, one of my fellow hunters said: “This makes me want to learn to shoot better.” And if you’re not heading to a corn field any time soon, the batter works really well with many other proteins, and vegetables, too. I recommend a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce, or even a BBQ sauce to serve it with. But it is also nice on its own. The beer and baking soda give it a puffiness along with the crunch, the perfect compliment to that rich liver flavor dove tends to have.

3. Braised Venison Tacos are versatile and full of tangy flavor. The venison replaces your usual shredded chicken or beef. Don’t just limit yourself to the toppings listed in the recipe—get creative! You can even add Goat Tacos to your menu and make it a game day tacos party.

4. Elk Jerky can replace the usual boring bowl of potato chips. You can even start making these the day before to free up your party prep time on game day.

5. Corned Axis Venison requires a three-week brine, but it is well worth the wait. Use the meat to make Corned Venison Sandwich Melts for your guests to share.

6. Bacon-wrapped dove gives you all the great flavors of a traditional jalapeño popper without the breading.

7. Duck Confit Nachos with Corn Chipotle Salsa are an impressive version of traditional nachos. Your guests will be begging for seconds—and thirds.

What are your favorite game day foods? Share them with us in the comments!


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