Wild Game Cooking: Time to Talk Turkey

by | Apr 1, 2014 | Featured, Wild Meat

It’s April, and one of the sounds of spring that all bowhunters know is the distinctive sound of turkeys. If you’re on the fence about whether to hunt this wild bird, know that the turkey has the advantage on you: it’s considered one of the most difficult animals to hunt with a bow. If you’re up to the challenge – and you are lucky enough to take a safe, ethical shot at a turkey, you’ll want to consider how you’ll be cooking that game. Here are some tasty recipe ideas for turkey breast – as well as legs, wings and thighs – that will have your family asking when turkey season is coming around again!

Cheez-It Crusted, Pickle Brined Turkey Bites

Check out this unique recipe from Realtree. Photo Credit: Realtree

 

Thanks to Realtree for this great recipe.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 side of a turkey breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • Oil for frying

Crust

  • 1 box (12.4 ounces) Cheez-It crackers (we use original flavor), crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Mix the ingredients for the Alabama white sauce well, and refrigerate. Next, cut your turkey breast into roughly 1-inch cubes. You want these to cook quickly so that the cracker crust doesn’t burn, so keep the pieces uniform. Place the cubed turkey in a bowl and pour over the pickle juice. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 and up to 8 hours. Place the crackers, salt, pepper, and cayenne into a 1-gallon zip-seal bag. Use a skillet or rolling pin to crush the crackers. Shake to blend the seasonings. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the turkey breast and pat the meat dry. Add the turkey to the bag of cracker crumbs and shake well to coat. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, add the coated turkey in batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until crust is golden brown and crunchy and the meat is just cooked through. Salt each batch lightly as soon as they come out of the skillet. Serve with Alabama white sauce or your favorite dipping sauces.

Walnut Crusted Wild Turkey

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This tasty turkey recipe comes from Just a Pinch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild turkey breast cutlets, pounded with a meat mallet
  • 1/2 cup oil and vinegar dressing
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped black walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Place pounded wild turkey breast cutlets in a quart plastic bag. Pour salad dressing over turkey and marinate in refrigerator for at least six hours, or overnight. Place black walnuts and bread crumbs in blender and process until fine. Add chives. In a large skillet, melt butter and add olive oil over medium high heat. Drain cutlets and dip into combined black walnuts and bread crumbs; press to coat. Place turkey cutlets in skillet and reduce heat to medium; cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side until golden brown and the interior is no longer pink. Serve immediately.

Wild Turkey Carnitas

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Thanks to Hunter – Angler – Gardener-Cook for this delicious recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 turkey legs plus wings, or 2 turkey thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, Mexican if possible
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 dried small chiles, such as an arbol or Thai
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 tablespoons lard or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange

Remove the skin from the turkey; save it to make cracklins if you want. Put the turkey in a large Dutch oven or large lidded pot, add all the herbs, spices and enough water to just barely cover the meat in the pot. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. When turkey meat is tender, remove from the pot and let it cool. Shred with two forks or your fingers. Discard the bones and any tendons. You can store the meat for up to a week at this point. To finish, Add the lard to a frying pan and brown the meat as much as you like; a mix of soft and crispy is best. At the very end, drizzle in about a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half an orange. Mix and serve. This can be served as part of a taco plate, but is also excellent on nachos or in burritos.

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