Wild Turkey Chili
Matt Anderson deciding how to cook wild turkey
Cutting wild turkey breast
Wild turkey drumsticks
Frying wild turkey
Cooking wild turkey chili
Wild turkey drumstick meat with angel hair pasta and alfredo sauce
Wild turkey tacos
Fried Turkey Nuggets: Serve these as party appetizers, for meat in salads or bigger meals.
1.) Mix one egg, water (1/2 cup) and flour (1/2 cup).
2.) Put cubed turkey breast meat into the stirred batter.
3.) Heat cooking oil in a large stovetop frying pan (or deep-fat fryer).
4.) Place battered nuggets into the pan, brown and remove when ready (3 to 5 minutes).
5.) Drain on a plate covered with a paper towel or simply use a brown paper grocery bag.
Baked Turkey: We sometimes like to bake thin fillets cut from several thick turkey breasts.
1.) In one mixing bowl, add a few tablespoons of fancy mustard and roughly a 1/2 cup of milk.
2.) On a plate, sift out some flour and grated jalapeno cheese.
3.) Next, roll the thinly cut fillets in the mustard-milk mix, then in the flour-cheese mix.
4.) With the oven preheated to 400 degrees, put the meat into a glass baking dish. Gently pour the remaining mustard-milk liquid on top and slip it in the oven.
5.) Forty minutes will do the trick. It’s delicious stuff!
Parboiled Turkey Drumsticks: In the interest of using the whole bird, try parboiling your skinned wild turkey drumsticks.
1.) Gently place the skinned drumsticks in a tall lobster pot 3/4 full of boiling water.
2.) After 90 minutes or so, you can remove the legs (use tongs), cool them and pick the meat for use in soups and stews.
3.) Breast meat and legs now removed for other recipes, you can do the same thing with the upper and lower de-feathered and skinned body of the turkey (snap it into two pieces).
4.) After cooling, pick the meat and keep it in a bowl. Substitute these tasty meat bits with game bird or even traditional recipes of choice.
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. Almost any chili recipe you have on hand will work. Some extras include:
• A can of enchilada sauce poured into the bottom of the pot and stirred in after the diced onions have simmered a bit in olive oil.
• Fresh ground black pepper (and lots of it, please).
• Diced new potatoes work, 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.
• Another must: saltine crackers. Some sort of childhood throwback, that is.
• If I’m enterprising, I’ll add broth reserved from parboiling to the remaining wild turkey after breast meat and the legs have been removed.
Wild Turkey Tacos: You can’t beat wild turkey tacos. Eating wild game extends the hunt. Here’s a recipe for turning wild turkey into a great meal for yourself, your friends and your family. Vary serving sizes based on how many you’ll feed. A short list of what ingredients you’ll need includes:
• Turkey breast meat
• Vegetable oil
• Fresh diced tomato
• Chopped lettuce
• Diced yellow onion
• Ripe, diced avocado (optional, but delicious)
• Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• Either hard taco shells or soft tortillas
• Store-bought taco sauce and seasoning
1.) Kill a wild turkey!
2.) Back at camp or in your kitchen at home, remove the breast meat. Cut it into bite-sized chunks. As mentioned in the main article, I like to take a piece of plastic wrap, cover the chunks and then gently tenderize them with a meat hammer.
3.) Prep tomato, lettuce, onion, avocado and cheese.
4.) Heat a little vegetable oil in a good frying pan and gently brown turkey chunks. Add 2/3 cup of water and taco seasoning mix. Simmer uncovered and stir often.
5.) At the same time, heat your oven to 325 degrees. Place taco shells on a cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until crisp. If you opt for tortillas, wrap them in foil and bake on the cookie sheet for the same amount of time or until warm.
6.) Remove taco shells or tortillas from the oven. Gently spoon cooked turkey into taco shells or tortillas. Add a little taco sauce. Top with tomato, lettuce, cheese, etc. Enjoy!
Whole-Bird Options: While many hunters only keep the thick breast meat for grilling or frying (and obviously baking) that’s only part of it. You can, of course, bake the whole bird in the traditional Thanksgiving manner.
1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the bird breast-side up, of course. The internal temperature should read 180 degrees when it’s done.
2.) If the wild turkey’s been skinned, “bard” the breast with strips of bacon. This keeps the lean meat from drying out. You can also cover it in tinfoil as you might with a farm bird.
3.) Go the game-cooking distance. Again, the theme of this article is to make use of the whole turkey, and you should.
To learn more, check out the upcoming 2014 issue of AMERICAN FRONTIERSMAN, available on newsstands and digitally July 1, 2014. To subscribe, go to https://www.realworldsurvivor.com/subscribe
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