Wild Turkey Recipes

A Tough Way to Cook Your Goose!

This is a occasional focus of this blog:  Recipes for Wild Game

Half the fun of catching your own game is preparing it in new ways.

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Fillet of Wild Turkey

1 wild turkey breast, skin removed

Buttermilk *

All-purpose flour

Salt and pepper

olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

Remove breast fillets from wild turkey, using a sharp boning knife.  Cut fillets in 3/8 inch thick slices, cutting across the grain.

Then cut those slices into 2 inch pieces.  Marinate the pieces in buttermilk for at least 2 to 3 hours.

Combine flour, salt and pepper.  Drain turkey slices, dredge in seasoned flour and fry in 1/2 inch (depth) of oil  for 3 – 5 minutes per side, turning once.  Drain on paper towels.

* Note: Buttermilk is a great tenderizer for wild game.  We usually marinate our game in buttermilk overnight.

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And Now, a Word from our Sponsor:

“Providence gave me three sons, only about a year and a half apart; and since it was not possible for me  to give them what we usually call the advantages of wealth, I made up my mind to do my best by them.

I decided primarily to make them sportsmen, for I have a conviction that to be a sportsman is a mighty long step in the direction of being a man.

I thought also that if a man brings up his sons to be hunters, they will never grow away from him.  Rather the passing years will only bring them closer, with a thousand happy memories of the woods and fields.

Again, a hunter never sits around home forlornly, not knowing what in the world to do with his leisure.

His interest in nature will be such that he can delight in every season, and he has resources within himself that will make life always seem worth while.”

Archibald Rutledge *

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Now, Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program:

Wild Turkey Chili

2 and 1/2 lbs. boned turkey, cubed

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper (may use green, red, yellow peppers)

olive oil or vegetable oil

1 Tables. salt

1 Tables. chili powder

1 and 1/2 teasp. garlic powder

2 cups water

1/2 cup Wild Turkey bourbon

4 cups tomato puree

2 pounds kidney beans, cooked and drained **

1 (16 oz.) package Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated

Saute turkey cubes, onion and green pepper in oil for 5 – 6 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and onions are softened.  Stir in seasonings.

Transfer turkey mixture to stockpot (slow cooker – directions below). Add water, bourbon, tomato puree and beans.

Simmer, covered, for 1 hour or longer. Serve each bowl with grated cheese.

Serves:  10 to 12

Crock pot directions: Saute turkey cubes in oil until turkey is no longer pink (in a skillet).

Add onion and green pepper to slow cooker.  Add turkey on top of vegetables.  Add water and bourbon, tomato puree and kidney beans to pot.  Simmer, covered for 6 to 10 hours.

Add spices during the last 30 minutes in the slow cooker. (Adding spices at the beginning will cook the spices away.)

This usually tastes better on the 2nd day!

** Note: In a hurry?  2 cans of kidney beans works fine, instead of cooking your own.

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* Archibald Rutledge (1883-1973), according to Wikipedia, was a South Carolina poet laureate.

He is remembered as one of America’s best-loved outdoor writers. His short stories appeared in Outdoor Life and Field and Stream, plus he wrote more than 50 books including An American Hunter (1937).

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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Tomorrow:  What’s So Great About Camouflage?

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 1:07 am  Comments Off on Wild Turkey Recipes  
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New Cookbook: The Complete Jerky Book

Careful Measuring and Timing Give the Best Results!

Monte Burch has written a 154 page tome on making jerky in your kitchen.

The title is:  The Complete Jerky Book:  How to Dry, Cure and Preserve Everything from Venison to Turkey. *

I picked this book up in the library — on the “new book” shelves.

What I Didn’t Like About the Book

The Complete … is literally a book full of advertisement for Bass Pro Shops … and other products (particularly expensive ones).

I’m concerned that this is a coming style in published books:  Mr. Burch mentions (seemingly) ALL the brands he uses.  That includes the cutlery he uses to cut the meat, the jerky kit, various jerky seasonings, a jerky cutting board, the huge smoker ….

The blurb about the author states he is a free-lance author, however, I wonder if he got a commission or was given free products to promote certain brands.  There’s no disclosure statement.

Frankly, it tainted the value of the book — for me.

Another problem:  Too many pictures of the same thing.

Fortunately, I’ve been cooking for 40+ years.  Newbies who don’t know their way around the kitchen might be frustrated.

What I Liked About the Book

Mr. Burch offered different ways of dehydrating the meat, from using the outdoors to a fancy electric smoker!

He also offered instruction in the finer points of ‘pimmican’ – a Native American food of shredded jerky, rendered fat, herbs,veggies and fruit.  It keeps indefinitely and the US Air Corps jet bombers consider this “survival rations.”

Mr. Burch had some good points.  On page 65, referring to raw meat, he states, “Cut away any fat, as fat not only doesn’t dry properly, but it adds a gamey flavor to the meat.”

Other Things to Like

  • “Food Safety” includes the “no-no’s” of jerky and the explanations are clear – unless you are a newbie in the kitchen.
  • There are quite a variety of recipes, marinades and meat rubs.
  • There are useful ground meat jerky instructions and recipes  – unless you are a newbie in the kitchen.

Mr. Burch offered recipes for:

  • Whisky Pepper Jerky,
  • Biltong (South African Beef Jerky)
  • Small Game & Waterfowl Jerky
  • Fish Jerky
  • Cured Salmon

If you are looking for new ways with wild game, this book offers some interesting ideas … if non-stop commercials don’t bother you.

See you soon!

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* Skyhorse Publishing produced this book, 2010, $12.95

~*~

This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on November 1, 2010 at 12:10 am  Comments Off on New Cookbook: The Complete Jerky Book  
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How & Why Do I Use a Duck Carcass?

Originally, I wrote this just after the holidays, when folks were wondering how they could use left-over bird or fowl carcasses. This particular post still gets lots of hits, even in the heat of summer.

While thinking about this, I remembered another way to cook — with even more benefit to diners!   I added it to the end of this article!  

Cooking a Poultry Carcass

For Chicken, Hen, Duck, Goose, Turkey - Domestic or Wild!

 

 

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What’s So Great About a Fowl Carcass?

There are three basic reasons I would boil a poultry carcass:

1) The comparison between a quart of  chicken/fowl stock versus a quart of water and bouillon versus purchased chicken/fowl stock is non-existent. They aren’t even in the same zip code! Stock that has been simmered has so much more flavor and nutrients!

2) In these tough economic times, it doesn’t make sense to toss the carcass without deriving its goodness for your table.

3) Scientists have proved that the “old wive’s tale” of giving chicken soup to an invalid is NOT an old wive’s tale.

There is scientific proof that the nutrients leached from the carcass during cooking are needed by the body to help it recover – from whatever ails them! The nutrients derived in this way are easier for the elderly to assimilate into their bodies.

All This Sounds Like a Lot of Trouble

Put the fowl carcass into a slow cooker (you may need to snap the bones, to fit it into the cooker), add 3 or 4 cups water, add some onion, 1 tsp. sea salt, garlic (Got celery and carrots? Add them), and turn it on (low or high)  as you go to bed.

How much trouble is that? In the morning, take the liner out of the cooker, let it cool and put it into the refrigerator (with the lid on) just before you leave.

In the evening, you can skim off the fat (or not, your choice) and pour the juice (strain out the veggies and carcass – discard them) into containers and freeze. If there are tidbits of the meat left from the bones, I add it to the broth.

Now What?

Soup, stew, gravy — whatever you make from this stock will be 100% more valuable to your body than the purchased, the bullion or the plain water.

I can think of dozens of uses for this stock. Save it for colds season and make soup. Use it as a base for black bean soup (or any other dried beans/legumes).

Use it as the base for a chicken stew (toss into a slow cooker:  onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, celery, leftover chicken, whatever you have). Let it cook for 6 to 8 hours, adjust seasonings, enjoy!

Finally

Our forefathers and fore mothers never wasted anything. Creating their own fish or chicken or beef stock was one of the ways they stayed healthy.

BTW, I always add a teaspoon of sea salt to any stock I’m creating from a carcass. Salt helps leach more nutrients out of the bones.

Do I use quail or doves for this? No, they are too small.

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Cooking a Carcass #2

Not everyone has a slow cooker/crock pot. If you have a large cast iron pot (with lid), such as a “dutch oven,” this is a great way to use it.

Use the same recipe as above, except cover the carcass with water.  Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 1 or 2 hours.  Then use the broth as indicated above.

During cooking, liquids slowly leach iron from the cast iron into the broth!   This is a great way to add iron to the diet.  In fact, acidic foods leach iron faster (think: tomatoes, vinegar, etc.).

Iron is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells. Up to 30% of Americans do not get enough iron.  This is a safe, cheap way to add to your family’s health!

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

How to Cook a Wild Turkey!

Wild Turkey Cooking is Different!

Wild Turkey Cooking is Different!

Question: I roasted a wild turkey with the recipe we use for a regular turkey. It was so tough that we couldn’t eat it. What happened?

Answer: Domesticated turkeys are different from those in the wild, as you found out. Wild turkeys are muscular and very lean.

Since they lack a ‘fat layer’ — wild turkeys must be regularly basted with butter, margarine, salad oil or a cooking additive – such as broth or wine.

Another way to keep the wine/broth/oil/butter/margarine next to the lean meat of the wild turkey is to wrap the bird in damp cheesecloth — and then add the broth/oil/butter/whatever to the cheesecloth.

The whole point of the cheesecloth is to keep moisture in constant contact with the dry, lean meat of the turkey during cooking.

Although you cook the turkey at the same temperature (325 degrees, F), it is important to reduce the cooking time by 20%. Don’t overcook!

Your wild turkey is ready when you pierce the meat (between the breast and the thigh) with a fork and the juices run clear.

Another way to ensure a great meal is to roast the turkey breast separately, because it cooks much faster than the legs and thighs!

Allow the turkey to rest for 15-25 minutes, after removing from the oven.

Published in: on March 15, 2009 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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