Grilled Pigeon Poppers: A Surprisingly Delicious Appetizer

Discover the culinary creativity of students from SUNY Cobleskill as they transform wild pigeons into a gourmet snack with this simple yet delicious Grilled Pigeon Poppers recipe. This dish is a perfect example of how wild game, often overlooked, can be turned into a sophisticated and mouth-watering treat. Join us in exploring this unique recipe that brings a new twist to game cooking.


  • 6-8 fresh pigeon breasts, halved
  • 6-8 jalapeños, halved and seeded (adjust number to match pigeon breast halves)
  • 1-2 bell peppers (optional, cut into quarters if used)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 12-16 slices of thick maple-flavored bacon (enough to wrap each popper)
  • Toothpicks (for securing bacon)
  • Seasoning mix: 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, and a mix of your favorite spices


    1. Prepare the Pigeon: Clean and halve the pigeon breasts. Ensure they are free of tendons and any damaged areas.

    2. Prepare the Peppers: Halve the jalapeños and remove seeds. If using bell peppers, cut them into quarters.

    3. Assemble the Poppers: Lay out a halved pigeon breast. Spread about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese on each piece. Place a half of a jalapeño (or a quarter of a bell pepper) on top of the cream cheese.

    4. Wrap with Bacon: Wrap each prepared popper with a slice of bacon, ensuring it covers the entire popper. Secure with a toothpick.

    5. Grill the Poppers: Preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature. Place the poppers on the grill and close the lid. Grill for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crispy and the pigeon meat is cooked through.

    6. Seasoning: While grilling, sprinkle the prepared seasoning mix over the poppers.

    7. Serve and Enjoy: Once the bacon is crispy and the pigeon is cooked, remove the poppers from the grill. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestion:

Pigeon Poppers can be served as an appetizer or a main dish. They pair well with a variety of dipping sauces, such as ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, or a spicy aioli.


As we wrap up this recipe for Pigeon Poppers, it's worth reflecting on the words of the chefs from SUNY Cobleskill, who brought this dish to life. In their own words, "Yum yum, get you some." This simple yet enthusiastic endorsement captures the essence of what makes these Pigeon Poppers so special. They're not just a snack; they're a celebration of sustainable hunting, culinary innovation, and the joy of discovering new flavors in the wild.

So, whether you're a seasoned hunter or a curious cook, give these Pigeon Poppers a try. You might just find a new favorite way to enjoy game meat, and a new appreciation for the culinary potential of the humble pigeon.

We'd like to extend a special thank you to Kent Cartridge and Benelli for sponsoring Season 5 of the Collegiate Waterfowl Tour. We invite you to join us on our adventures and immerse yourself in the world of waterfowl hunting with Campus Waterfowl by subscribing to our YouTube channel!

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