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Grant's Blog

Thoughts from the field

After The Hunt: Cooking Wild Turkey

Grant and Adam have been busy turkey hunting this week so the writing of the blog falls to me! In considering topics I immediately knew I would not write about turkey hunting but quickly realized that I should write about what I do know – what to do with that turkey once it is “in the bag!”

Raleigh harvested a gobbler in the youth season 2013

Raleigh harvested a gobbler in the 2013 youth season.

When Grant and I first got married he learned that my cooking was often an “experiment” as I like to take a base recipe and “experiment” with my own ideas. Most of our meals were prefaced with “I hope this is okay. It’s kind of an experiment.” Fortunately most of my experiments turn out well! Over the years I have experimented with the venison, wild turkey and other wild meats Grant has harvested for our freezer.

I’ve become a competent wild game cook. By no means is my cooking gourmet. As a busy working mother I default to the easy recipes instead of the more complicated, fancy recipes.

Cooking wild turkey can be a bit of a challenge. Most hunters prize a “mature” tom as they are usually more challenging to hunt and a better trophy of bigger spurs and a longer beard. Being “mature” equates to old which equates to tough meat! Marinating and/or slow cooking in the crock pot are my preferred ways to turn a tough, old bird into a delicious meal for my family!

Last year I experimented with a new recipe for cooking wild turkey.  Grant loved it! He said that this is his favorite way for me to cook the turkey, second only to deep frying breaded turkey nuggets.

Grant’s Favorite Wild Turkey Recipe

Serves 6

3 10 ounce cans green enchilada sauce

15 – 30 ounces chicken broth (enough to cover turkey breast)

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 turkey breast (2 lbs or larger)

2 to 3 strips uncooked bacon

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional; to taste)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Serve with: warm flour tortillas and salsa

 

Mix all ingredients except turkey, uncooked bacon, cilantro, lime juice, tortillas and salsa in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. 

Add turkey wrapped in bacon strips. 

Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until turkey is tender. Remove turkey to a cutting board. 

Stir cilantro and lime juice into mixture in slow cooker. Shred turkey in bite size pieces; return to slow cooker.

Can be served as a soup/stew or use a slotted spoon to separate meat from liquid and serve burrito/taco style rolled up in flour tortillas with your choice of toppings: cheese, sour cream,  shredded lettuce, or salsa. Accompany with refried beans, rice, salsa and chips. (If you choose to use the meat for a burrito/taco the remaining liquid makes a base for Mexican soup!)

Making easy wild turkey slow cooker recipe

Slow cooking in the crock pot is one of my favorite ways to turn a tough, old bird into a delicious meal.

(The idea for this recipe is based on one for a Mexican pork dish I modified for venison that I call Venison Pozole.)

If you would like to try something new this year, check out these great recipes on the NWTF website or on the Bass Pro website.

Let us know your favorite recipes for cooking wild turkey by posting them on Grant’s Facebook page!

Enjoy!

Tracy Woods

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