To Cook a Wild Turkey

Things are not always as they appear.  I’m used to domestic turkeys, purchased from a grocery store, stuffed and baked.  Frankly, it’s easy to do a passable job cooking a domestic turkey, and that experience doesn’t transfer readily to a wild turkey.

After screwing up, I realized that it would be more appropriate to research instructions for cooking wild turkeys on the net, and including, emphasizing the word wild.  The first instruction set I found explained that roasting the wild turkey dried it out – baste frequently, or deep fat fry the beast.  Other instructions included crock potting and pressure cooking the creature.

Sam has a grudge against turkeys – they’ve decided to dig up and devour her flower bulbs.  Eating garden predators seems appropriate – and other suggestions I’ve found include adding beer or wine.  One suggested that the purpose of stuffing is to absorb the taste of the wild, and that the stuffing should not be eaten.

So I went to the bass-pro website – 8 Simple Recipes for Wild Turkey.  None of these recipes included baking the whole bird – the general recommendation is shoot in the head, field dress immediately, and grill the breasts.

That seems simple enough – but the next step is slicing the turkey breasts into filets that are about a half-inch thick.  Now when you’re marinating these in a mix of ⅔ cup of soy sauce, a cup of brown sugar, a quarter cup of lemon juice, ⅓ cup of honey, plus minced garlic, tenderizing sauce and Adolph’s meat tenderizer, it would be a good time to open that first beer.  The instructions are to marinate it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Better open that second beer, too – this is obviously not the recipe developed by the Pilgrims 500 years ago.

End by grilling these fileted breasts for about 10 minutes over a fairly hot fire.

I can handle this.  As I write, I think about the story of my father – those who remember him will recall his blindness – so his decision was to get the turkeys accustomed to going into a cage for grain, then going in grabbing a turkey, and wringing its neck.  Age had kind of weakened the old man, and he explained that he didn’t have the strength to wring the bird’s neck – he had to stand his ground choking it as it beat on him with wings and feet.  In the end, the score was Mac 1, turkey 0.  I think it was his last turkey hunt.

Now that I have a better recipe, I might try another wild turkey.  But I have to admit, the Hutterite raised turkeys have spoiled me.

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