Hunting Turkey Hunting

Making Wild Turkey Chili

While wild turkey chili — and chili in general made with tamer meats — has some given basics (kidney beans, cumin, chili powder, etc.), I like to add a thing or two to mine.

Some extras include: enchilada sauce, a can of it, poured into the bottom of the pot and stirred in after the diced onions have simmered a bit in olive oil. Fresh ground pepper, and lots of it. Diced new potatoes as well. Sometimes I even cheat with those canned chili starter kits, location depending.

Some other extras, depending on what camp I’m cooking in, include: oregano, garlic salt, thawed frozen corn, chopped celery . . . well you get the idea.

If I’m enterprising, I’ll add broth reserved from parboiling the remaining wild turkey after breast meat and the legs have been removed. I do my best to use as much of the bird as possible as it extends the hunt and good eating. I pick meat after parboiling for other recipes like turkey a la King on toast and such.

I also like to cube breast meat for my turkey chili; then using a meat hammer with plastic wrap over the turkey pieces, I gently tenderize it. Another must: saltine crackers. Some sort of childhood throwback that is.

Drinks? While I’m a retired all-pro in the beer drinking hall of fame, I’m wondering, is a cold one essential with your game chili after the hunt? If so, what? What extras do you guys add to your wild turkey chili? Maybe a splash of that beer in the pot during the cooking? A good French bread at the supper table? A slice or two of good ol’ white bread for sopping up what’s left in your bowl?

If you got a fall turkey this season (congrats again to Strut Zoners Levi, Charlie Elk, et al.), how did you/will you cook it? This photo is of the chili I made with some of the New York turkey breast meat from my recent fall hunt.