By Mark Fike
Now that some readers have gotten their gobbler this spring and learned how to clean it with Pete Rogers’ article, how do you cook it?
The cooking part is second only to eating it after you have had the fun of calling and bagging it! Like any wild game, care in the field and at home is the biggest investment in the supper you are about to have!
Wild Turkey Stir-Fry
Take the turkey breast and slice it into 3/8-1/2 inch wide strips that are approximately 3 inches long. Do the same with some red, yellow and orange bell peppers. Slice red onion and also slice some okra if you can find some.
Heat up a cast iron skillet or an electric skillet and put just a skim of oil on the bottom. Heat to a medium heat. Place turkey strips in the skillet and cover after seasoning with your favorite seasoning. We like Creole flavors or Cajun flavors in our house so I use those.
After the meat turns white on one side, flip the meat and cover with the veggies after seasoning the whole batch once again. Check the meat in five minutes or so and then begin turning regularly while adding in sweet corn. Once the corn appears done, leave the lid off and brown the meat a bit.
Serve hot over or next to rice. You may have to add a bit of cooking oil to keep things from sticking as you cook. You can jazz up this medley by putting in some “warm” banana peppers.
Many hunters throw away the legs. I eagerly volunteer to keep the legs from any turkeys that my friends harvest. The legs are incredibly good if you slow cook them. While they could be tough otherwise, a day-long jaunt in a slow cooker makes the meat fall off the bones!
Season heavily with poultry seasoning, add at least 1.5 cups of water to the slow cooker or even 2 cups and put on low before you head to work. When you come home the meat is ready to be pulled from the bones.
Next time someone goes to toss their turkey legs, scoop them up and give them a try. This easy tip makes a great meal of meat that normally gets discarded. You can add in the bases of the wings if you want as well.
Grilled or Smoked Turkey Strips
Take the stir-fry recipe and place the meat in a packet of foil with cooking oil on your grill and wrap tight and place on low. The meat is delicious. You can also do the same in your smoker. Again, cook slower and season as you would in the stir fry.
In your smoker it won’t take more than 2-3 hours at most and often less time. This is a recipe I use for family gatherings and it takes all my self-discipline not to keep the meat for myself.
- Cook slow but keep covered so the meat does not dry out.
- Cut away any shot portions of the meat. No one wants to chomp down on a BB.
- Uncover the last few minutes to brown the meat if you want.
- Keep the meat cold until you are ready to cook.
- You can age the meat in the fridge for a few days after you harvest it if desired. Don’t overdo that.
Hunters—try these recipes to “wow” your spouse and guests and possibly get yourself a kitchen pass to go hunting again!