Some of you may have hunted turkeys this spring and some not. That is the type of year we are living through.
But if you do, here are some delicious wild turkey recipes for you to try. If you don’t hunt, save these recipes for next year. You can find Hi Mountain Seasonings at Bass Pro, Cabela’s or in some grocery stores.
Smoked and bourbon glazed wild turkey breast
3 to 4 servings:
• Boned out wild turkey breast
• Hi Mountain Seasonings Game Bird and Poultry Brine Kit
• Hi Mountain Seasonings Rib Rub
• 1 cup of bourbon
• 1 stick of butter
• 1 cup of brown sugar
• Olive oil.
In a non-metal container, prepare the brine following the easy instruction provided in the brine kit. Place the turkey breast into the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When the brining is done, remove the turkey breast and dry good with paper towel. Next lightly coat the whole breast with olive oil and then apply some of the Rib Rub all over the turkey breast.
In a small saucepan combine the 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of bourbon and 1 stick of butter. Heat this mixture until the butter and the sugar melt.
Set your smoker or pellet grill to 180 degrees and begin smoking the turkey breast. Turn the turkey breast over once during the smoking process and you will baste the turkey several times on both sides during the smoking process. Smoke the turkey until it hits an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Once it hits that temperature, remove and let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Cooking time will vary on the size of the turkey breast and the smoking device, so a meat thermometer is very important to have when cooking wild game. Over-cooking will give you dry and tough wild game meat because of the lack of fat that domestic animals have.
Wild turkey, apple and gorgonzola salad
Here’s a recipe for the wild turkey thighs that are best cooked “low and slow.”
Give the thighs a good rub with olive oil, salt and pepper before browning in a roasting pan in a 400-degree oven. Once browned, reduce the heat to 300 degrees. To the roasting pan, add some celery, carrot, onion and about 1-inch of chicken broth and cover with a lid or foil.
Cook for at least 3 hours or until the meat pulls away from the bone easily. Check after an hour or so to make sure that there is at least three-quarters of an inch of liquid in the pan. Add more chicken broth as needed. Allow to cool and shred the meat.
• 2 cups shredded wild turkey meat
• 1 firm, crisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
• 1/3 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1/3 teaspoon Hi Mountain Garlic Pepper Rub
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 4 handfuls romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
In a medium bowl, combine turkey, apples, cranberries, onion and garlic. In another bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, mustard and Hi Mountain Garlic Pepper Rub.
While whisking, add olive oil in a thin stream until emulsified. Season to taste with additional Hi Mountain Garlic Pepper Rub. If desired, add a pinch or two more sugar for a sweeter dressing. Pour half of the dressing over the turkey mixture and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Toss lettuce and gorgonzola cheese with remaining dressing. Mound on platter or plates. Top with turkey mixture.
Stuff wild turkey breast
How many wild turkey breast fillets you will need to feed your group depends on the size of the bird. The breast fillets from a jake will easily feed 4 adults.
With older adult males, it’s usually a good idea to lightly pound the meat after butterflying in order to make it more tender when cooked. Stuffing a wild turkey breast adds moisture to an otherwise lean piece of meat, but you still must be careful not to overcook it.
• 2 wild turkey breast fillets
• Olive oil
• Hi Mountain Poultry Rub
• 1 1/2 cups ground sausage, any type
• 1/2 cup onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
• 1 cup beer, any type
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves, or substitute any fresh herb
• 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
• 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To butterfly each breast fillet, place it on a flat surface, press down slightly with the palm of your left hand (if you’re right-handed) Keep your fingers up and away from the knife blade and slice through the breast between your palm and the table along the long edge, but not all of the way through. The idea is to make a hinge so that you can open the breast up like a book. Rub the butterflied fillets on all sides with olive oil and Hi Mountain Poultry Rub.
To prepare the stuffing, add the sausage to a large skillet over medium heat and cook until browned. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add beer and cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool completely.
Arrange basil leaves inside the butterflied breast fillets. Place an even amount of stuffing on top of the basil. Top with cheese and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the cheese. Start on one end and roll tightly while pushing the ends with your fingers so that the stuffing doesn’t fall out. Place the stuffed fillets, seam side down, in a lightly greased pan.
Place the pan in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature at the center is 160 to 165 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to rest before slicing into medallions. Top medallions with avocado and tomatoes.
– Kenneth Kieser, a veteran outdoors writer and member of the Waterfowlers Hall of Fame and National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, writes a weekly outdoors column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com.