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June 11, 2010
Eating Wild Turkey - 19

The origin of meat is a mystery to some folks. I once had a conversation with a woman at a New England summer cookout that went something like this:

"Ham is from a pig."

"No way. Get out!" she pleaded.

"Seriously. A pig."

"No waaaaaaaaaaaaaay!"

"Pig."

"You are kidding me right?" she said. The young woman stared at me blankly, like she was photoshopping that image of The Ham Tree in her head.

"Pig."

"Stawpppppppppppp it."

Not everyone can be like us eh. Eating wild game and fish, especially wild turkey, is high on my list of living well, and a way to extend the hunt. If possible, I like to utilize as much of the meat as I can, including the breasts and the drumsticks; even the remaining carcass once the legs and thick chest meat are drawn. Traveling by plane from turkey country as you bang out another Grand Slam might limit you to simply breasting the bird though.

As this goes, you can basically use breast meat in any recipe that includes store-bought domestic chicken fillets or farm turkey. It’s that simple. Many guys simply opt to finger the meat, roll it in egg batter then flour, and fry it in cooking oil. That’s cool—it’s good, and seasonings offer flavor options. Wild turkey chili is another great go-to option. You can raise the recipe bar too.

Recently I baked thin fillets from one thick turkey breast taken this recent spring season. In one mixing bowl I had a few tablespoons of fancy mustard and roughly a half cup of milk. On a plate, I sifted out some flour, and grated some jalapeno cheese. Next I rolled the thinly cut fillets in the mustard-milk mix, then in the flour-cheese deal. With the oven preheated to 400 degrees, I placed the meat into a glass baking dish, gently poured the remaining mustard-milk liquid on top, and slipped it in the oven. Forty minutes did the trick.

While many hunters only keep the breast meat for grilling or frying (and obviously baking) that’s only part of it. Go the game-cooking distance. I like to parboil the drumsticks in a tall lobster pot ¾ full of water. After 90 minutes or so, you can remove the legs, cool them, and pick the meat for use in soups and stews. Breast meat and legs now removed, you can do the same thing with the skinned & gutted body of the turkey (snap it into two pieces). Try it. You might be amazed at how much meat is still available.
Got any good post-season wild turkey recipes to share?

Comments (19)

Top Rated
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from pineywoods wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Charlie elk---

I guess I don't associate with enough city people to have run across any who actually don't know where meat comes from, but I have encountered enough idiots to know that they are surely out there. Scary, isn't it?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Little plastic packages falling out....LMAO ;-D)))))
Good one pineywoods.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Gee---I always wondered why, when I took the skin off the deer I killed that the little plastic wrapped packages of meat didn't come tumbling out.
When it comes to wild turkey, my all-time favorite is the whole bird, roasted or baked. True, it's a pain to pluck them (but not so bad if you scald them first), but I just put them in a deep baking pan, pour in a can of beer with the turkey and seal it with a tent of foil. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes to brown. You can serve traditional slices, make turkey sandwiches and pick the carcass for meat for turkey hash or other recipes. Wild turkey is waaay better than store bought.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

When my 2 oldest boys see wildlife I hear "SHOOT IT" or "HURRY UP & SHOOT IT" or "dad are you going to shoot this one " then "Dad let me shoot this one please dad please". It's a blessing to have such ambassadors on the front lines so familys like mine can still keep there traditions!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Hey charlie,

Your granddaughter gives me hope! I think we're on the frontlines man. How many times have you had to respond to some knucklehead who asked: "Is wild turkey gamey?" I get this every now and again. For some reason some non-hunters have this notion in their heads that wild game tastes bad . . . crazy unfounded idea perpetuated by people who simply don't know. Really, at times I really wonder at the origin of that flawed idea. The poor woman in my anecdote remains a somewhat amusing and yes scary puzzle. So far removed from reality . . .

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Still losing sleep over the fact that there are people who don't know where their meat comes from.
When my 4 year old granddaughter sees a cow she says "hmm, cheeseburger mmm. When a turkey gobbles she says "mmm, turkey samwich."
I think this is a normal reaction to the sight and sound of food.
What do you suppose happened with the ignorant ones?
later,
perplexed - charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Good stuff Levi. Love it. Thanks. -S.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

I don't measure much so I'll do the best I can.
Chop 1 medium onion, 1 bell pepper (I used red), 1 jalapeno (I seeded it because my 2 year old daughter was going to eat it), and 2-3 cloves of garlic.
Saute all of this for a few minutes until they soften a bit, then add 1 pound ground turkey and brown.
When the turkey is cooked through add 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, some red chili flakes and cook for another minute
Then add 2 cans of cannellini beans, 1 can of corn, and some chicken stock or other liquid (thought beer would be good, but again with the daughter) to make it the desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil and simmer until you can't wait any longer, this was about 20 minutes over the campfire before we dug in.
I'm pretty sure I added some other spices, but I don't remember now.
I'll try and upload a picture to my profile.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Charlie,

You are spot on with the East Coast comment. I have worked in the East and have found a surprising lack of understanding towards not only hunting but farming as well. I can't blame them though. They live 95% of their lives on concrete.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Now the left coast for some strange reason doesn't surprise me as much.
Glad to know you are a balanced journalist.
Oops maybe I shouldn't have referred to you as a journalist; if you are insulted by that please accept my humbly offered apology.;-)
later,
charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

You know me better than that charlie. While the anecdote is from an East Coast cookout, the inset clip is from the Left Coast. Balanced journalism (blogging at least)doncha know. Good to have you in the front lines man.

I'm a crockpot guy too Levi, for sure. Need to have your turkey chili recipe on the SZ!

Thanks, S.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Oh man! Now I am depressed. But hey maybe only folks on the East coast don't know where their meat comes from.
As far as sticking together no fear about charlie being on the front lines when hunting is attacked. He'll be there supporting any hunters, trappers or other legit animal use.
later,
charlie

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

I just made a white turkey chili this past week while camping with the family. Cooking in a Dutch oven over an open fire makes a lot of things tasty, but I think this would have been just as delicious at home. Charlie, that recipe sounds pretty good, I may have to try that.
I do about the same as you with the legs and thighs, Steve, except I use the crock pot.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Hey guys. Thanks for checking in with the comments. Double thanks for sharing the Ohio DNR turkey recipe and link charlie. I've spent some time on that site location myself(they do a great job promoting the turkey hunting tradition in the Buckeye State, including the tasty part). Amazingly, both my lead anecdote and the inset pic are for real. Further evidence we all need to stick together! -S.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Is that story about people not knowing where the meat comes for real? I mean you have to be pulling my leg, right?
Oh please tell me it is just a joke.
later,
charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

This is one of my favorites found on Wild Ohio website
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Default.aspx?tabid=18696#turkeyyogurtburgers

I grind wing, thigh and drum meat for use in this one.
Plus if you ever have to eat a tag place it on the bun under the burger and you will hardly notice it. ;-)

Greek Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce
Burger:
1lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 c. feta cheese
1/3 c. olives (green or Kalamata)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
Dash pepper

Yogurt Sauce:
2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh or dried dill
Salt to taste

Additional toppings (optional):
Sliced tomato
Grilled onions

Pre-heat grill. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together turkey, oregano, feta cheese, olives, garlic, salt, and pepper. Make patties (recipe will make 5-6 patties, ½-inch thick). Place on grill to cook (approx. 10 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt sauce by mixing together yogurt, feta cheese, dill, and salt. Set aside.

Place cooked burgers on a bun and top with yogurt sauce. Add grilled onions or tomatoes for
additional flavor.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawkEye wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

I've meet a couple ppl like that. I love the look on their face when you tell them what they are eating. Makes you wonder how ignorant some ppl really are.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

ok really where does meat come from i was told a test tube.lol

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

What? You mean meat isn't made in a factory? LMAO That picture from the newspaper cracked me up--I just sent it to all the usual suspects on my e-mail list.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Oh man! Now I am depressed. But hey maybe only folks on the East coast don't know where their meat comes from.
As far as sticking together no fear about charlie being on the front lines when hunting is attacked. He'll be there supporting any hunters, trappers or other legit animal use.
later,
charlie

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

You know me better than that charlie. While the anecdote is from an East Coast cookout, the inset clip is from the Left Coast. Balanced journalism (blogging at least)doncha know. Good to have you in the front lines man.

I'm a crockpot guy too Levi, for sure. Need to have your turkey chili recipe on the SZ!

Thanks, S.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Hey charlie,

Your granddaughter gives me hope! I think we're on the frontlines man. How many times have you had to respond to some knucklehead who asked: "Is wild turkey gamey?" I get this every now and again. For some reason some non-hunters have this notion in their heads that wild game tastes bad . . . crazy unfounded idea perpetuated by people who simply don't know. Really, at times I really wonder at the origin of that flawed idea. The poor woman in my anecdote remains a somewhat amusing and yes scary puzzle. So far removed from reality . . .

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

What? You mean meat isn't made in a factory? LMAO That picture from the newspaper cracked me up--I just sent it to all the usual suspects on my e-mail list.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawkEye wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

I've meet a couple ppl like that. I love the look on their face when you tell them what they are eating. Makes you wonder how ignorant some ppl really are.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Is that story about people not knowing where the meat comes for real? I mean you have to be pulling my leg, right?
Oh please tell me it is just a joke.
later,
charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Hey guys. Thanks for checking in with the comments. Double thanks for sharing the Ohio DNR turkey recipe and link charlie. I've spent some time on that site location myself(they do a great job promoting the turkey hunting tradition in the Buckeye State, including the tasty part). Amazingly, both my lead anecdote and the inset pic are for real. Further evidence we all need to stick together! -S.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

I just made a white turkey chili this past week while camping with the family. Cooking in a Dutch oven over an open fire makes a lot of things tasty, but I think this would have been just as delicious at home. Charlie, that recipe sounds pretty good, I may have to try that.
I do about the same as you with the legs and thighs, Steve, except I use the crock pot.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Now the left coast for some strange reason doesn't surprise me as much.
Glad to know you are a balanced journalist.
Oops maybe I shouldn't have referred to you as a journalist; if you are insulted by that please accept my humbly offered apology.;-)
later,
charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ishi wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Charlie,

You are spot on with the East Coast comment. I have worked in the East and have found a surprising lack of understanding towards not only hunting but farming as well. I can't blame them though. They live 95% of their lives on concrete.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

I don't measure much so I'll do the best I can.
Chop 1 medium onion, 1 bell pepper (I used red), 1 jalapeno (I seeded it because my 2 year old daughter was going to eat it), and 2-3 cloves of garlic.
Saute all of this for a few minutes until they soften a bit, then add 1 pound ground turkey and brown.
When the turkey is cooked through add 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, some red chili flakes and cook for another minute
Then add 2 cans of cannellini beans, 1 can of corn, and some chicken stock or other liquid (thought beer would be good, but again with the daughter) to make it the desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil and simmer until you can't wait any longer, this was about 20 minutes over the campfire before we dug in.
I'm pretty sure I added some other spices, but I don't remember now.
I'll try and upload a picture to my profile.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

Good stuff Levi. Love it. Thanks. -S.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Still losing sleep over the fact that there are people who don't know where their meat comes from.
When my 4 year old granddaughter sees a cow she says "hmm, cheeseburger mmm. When a turkey gobbles she says "mmm, turkey samwich."
I think this is a normal reaction to the sight and sound of food.
What do you suppose happened with the ignorant ones?
later,
perplexed - charlie

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Charlie elk---

I guess I don't associate with enough city people to have run across any who actually don't know where meat comes from, but I have encountered enough idiots to know that they are surely out there. Scary, isn't it?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

This is one of my favorites found on Wild Ohio website
http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Default.aspx?tabid=18696#turkeyyogurtburgers

I grind wing, thigh and drum meat for use in this one.
Plus if you ever have to eat a tag place it on the bun under the burger and you will hardly notice it. ;-)

Greek Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce
Burger:
1lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 c. feta cheese
1/3 c. olives (green or Kalamata)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
Dash pepper

Yogurt Sauce:
2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh or dried dill
Salt to taste

Additional toppings (optional):
Sliced tomato
Grilled onions

Pre-heat grill. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together turkey, oregano, feta cheese, olives, garlic, salt, and pepper. Make patties (recipe will make 5-6 patties, ½-inch thick). Place on grill to cook (approx. 10 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt sauce by mixing together yogurt, feta cheese, dill, and salt. Set aside.

Place cooked burgers on a bun and top with yogurt sauce. Add grilled onions or tomatoes for
additional flavor.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

When my 2 oldest boys see wildlife I hear "SHOOT IT" or "HURRY UP & SHOOT IT" or "dad are you going to shoot this one " then "Dad let me shoot this one please dad please". It's a blessing to have such ambassadors on the front lines so familys like mine can still keep there traditions!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Gee---I always wondered why, when I took the skin off the deer I killed that the little plastic wrapped packages of meat didn't come tumbling out.
When it comes to wild turkey, my all-time favorite is the whole bird, roasted or baked. True, it's a pain to pluck them (but not so bad if you scald them first), but I just put them in a deep baking pan, pour in a can of beer with the turkey and seal it with a tent of foil. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes to brown. You can serve traditional slices, make turkey sandwiches and pick the carcass for meat for turkey hash or other recipes. Wild turkey is waaay better than store bought.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 5 weeks ago

Little plastic packages falling out....LMAO ;-D)))))
Good one pineywoods.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 6 weeks ago

ok really where does meat come from i was told a test tube.lol

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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