By Nancy Jo Adams

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With the spring turkey season well under way, hunters are harvesting turkey and putting it in the deep freeze to feed the family over the next several months. With turkey, only a limited amount of meat makes it to the freezer, unlike larger game such as wild hog, deer, elk, or any of the large game animals that are legal to hunt. Wild turkey can be prepared in many different ways:

  • On the grill
  • In the oven
  • In a crock pot
  • In a skillet
  • In a deep fryer
  • In a casserole
  • In a wok
  • In a smoker
  • In a dehydrator

Any way you can cook chicken breast, you can just about prepare wild turkey in the same manner. However, it is important to keep in mind that wild turkey cooks quicker than store purchased chicken and tends to be dry if overcooked. Typically, the skin is not left on wild turkey and often only the breast and legs are processed. I have so many favorite wild turkey recipes that it was hard for me to weed through them and pick my favorites. So, I decided to share several and hope that one will become a new favorite of those who try them.

The one recipe that is quick and easy that I make often is skillet browned marinated turkey bites to top salads off with. It is also a great recipe for those who meal prep for the entire week since it can be kept in the refrigerator and the prepared breast can be used cold or can be warmed up in the microwave to top salads with.

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Wild Turkey Breast Bites

  • 1 pound of turkey breast, about ½ a single turkey breast
  • ½ cup of Marinade sauce such as Moore’s Original, Teriyaki Marinade, or Bragg’s
  • 3 Tablespoons of olive oil

Cut wild turkey breast into small bite sized pieces. Place olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place wild turkey breast in skillet and cook until white on all sides. Add ¼ cup of marinade in skillet and mix well with meat until near done. Pour the remainder of the marinade on the meat and mix lightly until the sauce is warm and starts glaze or caramelize on the turkey pieces. Make sure to remove the skillet from heat and do not overcook. Place mixed greens in a bowl, top with wild turkey pieces, shredded cheese, croutons, your favorite toppings and dressing. The recipe can be doubled and the chicken stored in a tight container in the refrigerator for several days.

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Wild Turkey Fried Rice

  • 6 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup diced turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Soy sauce, as needed
  • 2 cups cooked rice, white, brown, or wild
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots

Heat wok. Add 2 teaspoons oil. Add onion, peas and carrots. Cook until crisp, yet tender. Remove, and set aside. Add 2 more teaspoons oil to wok. Add eggs, scramble, remove; set aside. Add remaining oil. Add turkey breast, and stir-fry until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add soy sauce to taste. Return vegetables and eggs to wok. Add rice and additional soy sauce, as desired. Mix thoroughly and serve hot.

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Wild Turkey Parmigiano

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-pound wild turkey breast fillets, boneless
  • 1 cup Italian-flavored tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow bowl, beat egg whites with water. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip wild turkey pieces into egg mixture, then dredge in bread crumb mixture. Arrange the meat on a greased 10-inch x 15-inch baking pan. Bake 4 to 5 minutes. Pour tomato sauce evenly over the turkey and top with Mozzarella cheese. Bake 4 to 5 minutes more, or until wild turkey is cooked through, sauce is heated and cheese is melted.  

Wild Turkey Casserole

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup of wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ can cream of celery soup
  • ½ can of mushroom soup
  • 2 ¼ cups of cooked brown rice
  • 3 cups cubed wild turkey breast
  • 6 ounces mushrooms
  • ¾ cup green pepper
  • ½ cup onions
  • ½ cup of slivered almonds

Melt butter in frying pan. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until it bubbles. Remove from heat, add broth, milk, soups. Heat to boiling. Add rice, wild turkey, mushrooms, peppers, onions, almonds. Pour into a 9×13 inch pans or Dutch oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

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Slow Cooked BBQ Wild Turkey Legs

  • 2-4 wild turkey legs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup of Ketchup
  • ½ cup of water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoon of prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar

Season the turkey legs with salt and pepper. Place the skinless wild turkey legs in the slow cooker. Combine ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and paprika in a bowl and combine. Pour the sauce over turkey legs. Cook on medium for 4-6 hours. You can use your own homemade barbeque sauce or a favorite brand barbeque sauce in place of the wet ingredients. When the meat is falling from the bone, shred with fork, removing bones. Mix well with the sauce in crock pot, add additional barbeque sauce if needed, serve on hamburger buns.

If you have not found a recipe above that tempts your taste buds, a search of ‘Wild Turkey Recipes” in any web browser will turn up more recipes than a person can peruse in a couple hours. You can also substitute any recipe that calls for chicken breast for a wild turkey dish, just keep in mind that wild turkey breast cooks quicker than chicken breast, pound for pound. Bon Appétit!