This spring, bag your turkey and try out some of these flavors.
We’ve already explained how NOT to deep fry a turkey, but perhaps the best advice is not to deep fry it all.
1. The Pan Fry
Instead, try pan frying the breast as suggested in the Ca C’est Bon (That’s good!) blog:
- 1 wild turkey breast, cut into strips
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-2 teaspoons Pete’s Good Stuff seasoning mix
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2-3 cups peanut oil
- Mix the buttermilk, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl.
- Soak the turkey strips in the mixture for at least 3-4 hours (overnight, if possible).
- Spread the panko bread crumbs out on the surface of a large plate and sprinkle with Pete’s Good Stuff seasoning mix.
- Dip the marinated turkey strips into the seasoned bread crumbs and coat generously.
- In a large cast iron skillet or pot, bring the oil to 375 degrees F.
- Fry the turkey strips until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pot — the temperature will drop too low and the turkey will not fry properly. Cook in several batches, if needed.
- Allow the strips to cool on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.
2. The Deep Fry
Everything fried tastes good, and turkey is no exception. While there is an element of danger to deep frying a whole turkey, the results are worth the preparation. For safety purposes, make sure that your turkey is not going to displace the cooking oil above the capacity of the pot and start a fire. Be smart. Defrost the turkey.
Dropping a frozen turkey into hot oil is a stunt that even Johnny Knoxville would think twice about. It might be best to just prepare for everything to catch on fire by conducting the whole operation over something like concrete and nowhere a porch, garage, or a patch of grass.
As the Miss Homemade Blog explains:
Pour the peanut oil into the fryer and heat to 375 degrees. Make sure that the turkey is thawed and dried completely before submerging in the hot oil.
Tie two strings completely around the bird so you can lift it out easier. Turn off the flame before you lower the turkey in the hot oil and when done, turn the burner back on.
Fry the turkey for approximately 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 minutes per pound. The turkey will float to the top when it is done, but I like to know how long it should take.
Meanwhile, you will need the following ingredients:
When the turkey is done, remove the bird from the oil and immediately dust with the Cajun seasoning.
Add the garlic and cayenne powder to the melted butter and brush on the turkey. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.
3. Grilled Wild Turkey Rolls
Probably the next best thing to fried turkey is turkey wrapped in bacon, as explained by the Something Sweet and Something Salty blog,
“I had no clue what to do with it as I have never cooked wild turkey before. Word on the street was, I had to marinade the breasts, cube it and wrap it in bacon with a slice of jalapeno. I didn’t know what marinade to use so I made one myself and the whole package was dyne-o-mite!
most of us don’t have wild turkey breasts readily available; however, I am totally convinced you could wrap anything in bacon and add a jalapeno and it would be fabulous. I also heard that adding a little cube of cream cheese in the middle makes them Turkey Poppers *drool.*”
Check out her recipe for Grilled Wild Turkey Rolls:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 cloves minced garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 lb thick cut peppered bacon.
“You will get 2 rolls for each piece of bacon so plan accordingly with the number of mouths you will be feeding. I ALWAYS buy my bacon at the butcher counter. At most grocery stores, you can find super thick, meaty, peppered bacon for right around the same price (or cheaper when it’s on sale) as the pre-packaged bacon where you get 2 square inches of a window to guess if the bacon actually looks that good or if they have laid it in such a way that the only actual meat on the bacon is showing in that little window. Seriously, that just isn’t fair.
“1 can pickled, sliced jalapenos. If you are not a big fan of super spicy stuff, get the “tamed” jalapenos. They still have all that yummy flavor without lighting your mouth on fire.
“1-1 and 1/2 lbs wild turkey breast or meat of your choice. Again, plan accordingly with your bacon slices. You will be cutting your meat into 1 and 1/2″ cubes. I think sirloin, chicken breast, turkey breast, and venison would all be really delicious choices. The turkey breast I used was somewhere around 2-3 lbs so I had about 1 lb extra marinated meat I just froze for next time.
“Cut meat into 1 and 1/2″ cubes. Mix marinade. Let meat marinade for a minimum of 2 hours. (Seriously, check out that giant turkey breast! It took up my entire cutting board!)
“Cut each piece of bacon in half. Place one slice of jalapeno and once cube of turkey into center of bacon slice. Tightly roll bacon over turkey and hold in place with a toothpick.
“After cleaning your grill, heat grill to medium heat (around 300-350 degrees). Place rolls on sides and cook slowly turning every few minutes. Be sure to keep a spray bottle handy because you will be chasing flare-ups from the bacon grease the entire time. Once, the bacon is fully cooked, your meat should also be fully cooked. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If you are making these for party favors, they will stay plenty juicy in a warm oven until ready to serve. They are also really amazing the next day so don’t throw out your leftovers!”
4. Turkey Stock
Beyond leftovers, part of being an ethical hunter is using every bit of the animal. What better way to do your kill justice than to make stock from remaining pieces. Jeremiah Doughty has been noted for his venison grilling recipes previously on Wide Open Spaces. Here’s how he does his turkey stock with a little inspiration as to why you should go the extra mile to use all of your bird:
“With turkey season in full swing nation wide lets look beyond the normal recipes and talk about the so called discarded parts of this amazing game bird. I was watching a hunting program this morning and the host, a big name hunter showed you how to “Breast out” your turkey. He then took the rest of the bird and tossed it into the trash. To me this is such a waste. Not only did he not pay the animal respect but he threw at least four dinners in the trash. One reason people get upset with hunters is for this simple display of waste. So lets talk about what you can do with the left over parts with little to no effort.
“Most hunters simple discard the bones and scraps from the animals they harvest & butcher, if they butcher at all. Here before you is 144 ounces of homemade turkey stock. Slowly roasted and simmered for hours with herbs from the garden and root vegetables.
“It freezes beautifully for use later in soups, gravy and broths! Don’t discard those bones, 90 percent of the Animals flavors are sitting in those bones that most throw away!
“I took this 18 pound turkey and broke it down in to quarters. Next I took the legs, thighs and wings and cut away every piece of meat. I took and breasted out both breast. I added all the wing, thigh and leg meat plus one breast to the grinder and got 4.5 pounds of fresh ground turkey. I then took the other breast and sliced it for turkey jerky. But lets talk about that 6 pounds of bones and scraps.”
Bones from Turkey
3 stalks of celery sliced
3 large carrots sliced
1 large onion sliced
6 springs thyme
6 springs parsley
2 tablespoons whole pepper corns
6 cloves garlic diced
4 springs rosemary
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Add bones, celery, carrots and onions to roasting pan or Dutch oven. Heat uncovered for 30-40 minutes until bones began to darken. Careful not to burn or your stock will taste burnt.
Remove from oven, add bones and veggies to stock pot if not using Dutch oven. Cover with cold water and add remaining herbs and garlic.
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 3-4 hours.
Skim fat every hour
Remove from heat and discard all large bones and vegetables
Pour stock through a strainer into large bowl.
Discard leftovers in strainer and repeat two more times
Chill and enjoy
*stock can be frozen for future use
5. Dijon-Breaded Turkey Breast
If you want to avoid frying your turkey, Bass Pro Shops has a unique breaded breast filet recipe too.
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Boneless breast meat from one wild turkey
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Mix together bread crumbs, sage, parsley, melted butter and half the salt. Season the turkey breasts with the remaining salt and the pepper, then brush them with the mustard and pat on the breading mix. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until done to taste.