Wild Game Cooking: Time to Talk Turkey

by | Apr 1, 2014 | 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!

Grilled Marinated Wild Turkey Breast


Thanks to Kentucky Outdoor Adventures for this great recipe.


  • Boneless breast meat from one wild turkey
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Lawrey’s Seasoning Salt
  • Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer

Slice the breast meat lengthwise to create fillets that are about 1/2 inch thick. Make a marinade by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, honey and garlic in mixing bowl. Sprinkle the fillets with the seasoning salt and meat tenderizer, then transfer the meat to a zip-seal plastic freezer bag. Pour the marinade into the bag with the turkey and seal. Turn to coat all the pieces of meat, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the fillets from the marinade, drain and grill over a medium-hot fire for approximately 10 minutes per side or until done to taste.

Walnut Crusted Wild Turkey


This tasty turkey recipe comes from Just a Pinch.


  • 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


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


  • 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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