A Sweet Recipe for Smoked Cranberry-Herb Wild Turkey Sandwiches

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Take your time smoking the turkey breast.Josh Dahlke

In my last post I gave you general instructions for creating your own deli-style sandwich meat from wild game. I promised to follow it up with a specific recipe for doing this with wild turkey. I'm a week late in delivering on my promise because I was busy killing a black bear in Idaho (the OL editors are understanding of such excuses), but here I am. Hopefully you haven't starved to death in anticipation. To make up for it, I'll include a bonus recipe for a complementary aioli that will bring your sandwich up a few notches.

Ingredients

  • 1 wild turkey breast
  • 2 cups fresh smashed cranberries
  • 1 can frozen apple-cranberry juice concentrate
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • ¼ cup fresh minced basil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Directions\

  1. Set aside the turkey breast and mix all other ingredients together in a plastic bowl. This will be your marinade. Submerge the turkey breast, cover the bowl and let it sit for approximately 24 hours in the fridge. The key to this process is allowing the flavors and acids of the marinade to thoroughly penetrate the breast.
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There's more to this sandwich than just turkey.Josh Dahlke

Fire up your grill or smoker and be patient—low and slow is the way to go for this creation to ensure tender, moist meat. Add the breast and start cooking. Keep it rolling until the meat reaches that safe internal temp of 160 and not a degree higher. You can always wrap it in tinfoil during the final hour to contain some additional moisture.

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Keep a close eye on your turkey's temperature.Josh Dahlke

I used my Camp Chef Pellet Grill/Smoker on the "high smoke" setting because I was in a hurry. With more time, I would've run it on "low smoke" for a longer duration to start, and then bumped up the heat in the end to hit the 160-degree mark to finish. Regardless of my slight rush, this smoky/sweet combo turned out delish.

Slice the meat to your preferred thickness with a fillet knife or electric meat slicer. Try not to eat it all during your slicing session.

wild turkey recipe, wild turkey sandwich, turkey sandwich recipe, smoked turkey
Turkey sliced thickJosh Dahlke

Cranberry-Herb Aioli

Every sandwich can go from good to great with a creamy spread to accompany the main meaty attraction. You can amp up this wild turkey sandwich by using some of the same ingredients in the marinade, plus a couple of extras.

Combine 1.5 cups mayo, 2 fresh minced rosemary sprigs, 2 tablespoons minced basil, 1/4 cup minced cranberries (bitter is better), 1/4 cup minced apple (for a pleasant crunch), plus 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Mix well and chill in fridge.

wild turkey recipe, wild turkey sandwich, turkey sandwich recipe, smoked turkey
A sauce to make your sandwich even betterJosh Dahlke

Putting It All Together

Find a loaf of your favorite bread. Don’t be tempted by the $3 bags of mediocrity that are stacked high on the bakery shelves. You’ve come too far to get lazy. Splurge for a fresh-baked loaf of pumpernickel, rye, ciabatta, or even fluffy rolls. Liberally spread the cranberry-herb aioli on the bread, and then stuff it full of the tangy sliced wild turkey meat along with your choice of veggies and thin-sliced fine cheese. Keep it cool or get hot—your call.