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So, you got a bird! Congratulations! Now, how do you cook it?



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In most of the country, turkey season is either well underway or over. And you’re stuck in a dilemma – how do you take that gobbler you shot and make it not only edible, but delectable? It starts by being creative. There are a lot of people that hunt turkeys who do not realize how versatile the bird is when it comes to table fare.

Wild turkey is a delicious game meat. It is known for its slight gaminess, that gets MARINATING-TURKEY-STEAKSstronger over time, so wild turkey should be cooked as soon as possible. Its’ firm texture causes it to become tough if not prepared properly. Wild turkeys have a lot less breast meat than farm raised turkeys because their breasts are designed to help them fly and they have no hormones or special feed, causing them to be more muscular and leaner than their domestic cousins. This is why many hunters choose to give away the meat rather than prepare it for dinner.

Cooking a wild turkey is different than cooking a regular store-bought turkey. When it is properly prepared, fresh wild turkey can be a delicious meal.

Here are a few simple recipe’s with ingredients that can already be found in your pantry.

TURKEY-PARM-ON-TABLEWild Turkey Parmesan– I was in the mood for Italian and decided to give it a try! Note that I don’t bread the turkey, but you surely can!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Wild Turkey Breasts
  • 2 Can/jar whole tomatoes
  • 1 Can tomato paste
  • 8 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Medium Onion diced
  • 2 Tb. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 ts. Garlic Salt
  • 1 ts. Cracked Pepper
  • 1 ts. Sea Salt
  • 1 Tb. Crushed Parsley
  • 1 Tb. Dried Oregano
  • 1 box dried Spaghetti/Angel Hair Pasta

Instructions

  •  Cut breast into steaks 1-2 inches thick. I personally start with the turkey breast frozen, it makes for easier cutting. Place steaks into 8×10 casserole dish (or similar baking dish).
  • With fingers, crush canned tomatoes and place 1 or 2 on top of SLICING-TOMATOESeach turkey steak. Using left over juice from tomatoes, stir in tomato paste until a sauce is made. Stir in onions and seasonings, adding more or less to taste. Pour sauce over turkey.
  • Bake steaks uncovered for 45 min @ 350. Cook pasta while meat bakes. When steaks are done, place
    Radishes from the garden to garnish a salad
    Radishes from the garden to garnish a salad

    sliced cheese on top, allow to melt.

  • Serves-3 hungry hunters or a family of 6. Note: If you prefer a breaded meat, use old bread and make your own season crumbs. If in season, use fresh tomatoes to slice on top of steaks instead of canned. Also, use herbs from garden such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil: if available. The fresher the ingredients, the better the meal.

Chori Pavo -My favorite Mexican dinner made with Pavo(turkey) instead of Pollo(chicken), I honestly have no clue if this is what ingredients restaurants use. I based the recipe off of taste and texture. Keep in mind, I use what I have (trying not to spend money).

  • 1 Wild Turkey Breast
  • 1/2 lb. pork sausage
  • Bacon grease
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 6-8 slices of cheese
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 ts. Chili powder
  • hot sauce to taste or sliced jalapeno
  • 1 can Refried Beans
  • 2-3 cups brown rice
  • Tortilla shells
  • Lettuce, Guacamole, Salsa (if you want)

Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add rice, stir with a fork to ensure rice is level and and covered in water. Cover and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer DICING-ONIONfor about 20 minutes
  • Preheat cast iron pan, heat bacon grease (makes everything taste better!). Add onions to pan, let cook while preparing meat. Slice turkey breast in bite size slivers. Quickly pan fry turkey slivers, do not leave in pan for too long (it will keep the meat tender).
  • Put cooked meat and onions in crock pot on high heat. To crock pot, add enchilada sauce, slices of cheese, hot sauce/jalapeno. Let ingredients meld, stir occasionally. In cast iron pan, crumb and brown pork sausage. Pour off grease and sprinkle sausage on top of turkey meat. Heat refried beans in the microwave. Warm tortillas and serve buffet style.
  • Serves- Enough food to feed Coxey’s Army

SARAH-GRINDING-PEPPERPotato Soup– On a cold rainy day or out of a Thermos on a backwoods hunting trip… this soup warms the belly, often inducing a hunter into a lovely nap.

Ingredients

  • 1 Wild Turkey Breasts
  • 5 medium Potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cans creamed corn
  • 6 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1/2 c. cooked/diced bacon
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Fry bacon in a cast iron dutch oven. When done, take out, dice it, set aside. Add cubed potatoes to skillet (keep bacon grease in the pan). Fry potatoes on medium heat until tender and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Thinly slice turkey breast into bite size slivers. Sear turkey in cast iron skillet until it is light in color, do not cook long (will make the turkey tough). When turkey is done cooking, add potatoes, bacon, cubed hardboiled eggs, creamed corn, diced onions and milk into dutch oven. Stir, place lid on and let simmer.
  • Serves- the whole hunting camp, it’s better than tag soup!

asian turkeyAsian Turkey-a little sweet… sour …and spice… how most hunters like their women. 

  • 1 Wild Turkey Breasts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tb. sesame oil
  • 2 Tb. honey
  • 1-2 ts. hot sauce
  • 1 ts. ginger
  • 1 ts. crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 c. fresh broccoli
  • 2-3 packages of ramen
  • soy sauce for noodles
  • If you do not have the above ingredients to make the sauce, feel free to use your extra packets of duck sauce or sweet/sour sauce from your local Chinese restaurant, add hot sauce, crushed red pepper and garlic to taste.

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add rice, stir with a fork to ensure rice is level and and covered in water. Cover and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, honey, ginger root, crushed pepper and garlic. Heat in microwave on medium for 1 minute, then stir. Heat again for 30 seconds, watching closely to prevent boiling.
  • Thinly slice turkey breast into bite size slivers. Sear in a hot cast iron skillet. Once turkey is cooked, turn down heat and pour in sauce. Let simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.
  • Boil ramen until tender. Do not add flavor packets.1
  • Steam broccoli by cutting into small florets, place in a microwave-safe bowl with a cup of water. Place lid slightly on top of bowl and microwave on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
  • Once broccoli, ramen and turkey are done, plate and serve.
  • Serves- Dàjiā (Chinese for “everyone”)

When it comes to food, I take pleasure in the simple knowledge that what is on my plate is there because it was stalked, scouted, or tracked it down. An old proverb says, “He who chops his own wood is twice warmed.” The same theory holds true when preparing game. When it is taken afield, with one’s own hands… that is when hunger is truly satisfied.

Genesis 27:3-4 “Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game for me.  Prepare it just the way I like it so it’s savory and good, and bring it here for me to eat.”

Family enjoying wild turkey for dinner.
Family enjoying wild turkey for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

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