Because of its mellow flavor and more delicate meat, wild turkey makes a delicious light and savory option for bulk grind. I like grinding because it makes use of the whole bird, rather than just breasting it out and discarding what remains. With the addition of some pork fat and a few spices already in your cabinet (and a splash of wine) you’re on your way to an especially flavorful Italian sausage. From there you can go on to use it in recipes for meatballs, homemade pizzas, burgers, meatloaf, Bolognese, and a host of other things.
One of my favorites is to combine wild turkey Italian sausage with baked breakfast dishes. Here’s a satisfying recipe that uses homemade sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, chicken eggs, and nutrient-rich spinach leaves. It’s guaranteed to please Popeye, boost your iron, and support energy production for early mornings in the field, or Sunday afternoons on the couch.
Here’s how to make it.
1 lb wild turkey Italian sausage
2 cups country-style, or Vienna-type bread cubes
10 ounces of fresh spinach leaves
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 – 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
5 ounces crumbled goat cheese (or whatever you prefer)
3 tablespoons milk
Salt & pepper
Cube the bread and toss in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and mix until coated.
Spread cubes evenly on a cookie sheet and put in a 375-400 degree oven until the cubes start to turn golden brown. It should take around 10 minutes or thereabouts. (If you wanted an herbed cube, sprinkle lightly with your favorites. I prefer Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning blend.) Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and then onion and turkey sausage, breaking up as cooks. Continue cooking until the onion is translucent and soft. Depending on the intensity of your heat this will take about 7-10 minutes.
Add the baby spinach in batches, stirring in between. We want to wilt the spinach just enough to incorporate.
Add the sundried tomatoes, and stir in a couple tablespoons of fresh basil.
Once the sausage, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and basil have been incorporated, remove from heat and turn out into a large buttered glass or ceramic pie plate. Arrange the toasted bread cubes on top of the meat mixture and top with goat cheese crumbles, feta, or your favorite cheese. Lightly beat one egg with 3 tablespoons of milk and pour over the top. Now cover and refrigerate for a couple hours. (This allows the bread cubes to soften, and draw up some moisture and flavor from the meat mixture.)
When you are ready to bake, make three shallow indents on top and crack an egg into each, making sure the yokes do not break. (You can add a fourth and fifth if you like.) Sprinkle lightly with a bit of salt, pepper, and smokey paprika. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the egg whites are set, but the yokes are still soft, or better yet, runny. (Around 20 minutes.) Remove from the oven, garnish with remaining tablespoon of basil, a few squirts of Sriracha or Frank’s RedHot sauce, and serve.