Spring gobbler season is finally upon us. Toms are feeling their oats and gobbles boom from the pre-dawn treetops. There is no better feeling than when scouting, strategizing, calling, and shooting come together to bring down a wary tom. But the rewards of a successful spring turkey hunt don’t end with the shot. These birds make great table fare too. Here’s five easy and delicious ways to prepare your spring gobbler.
Gobbler Hot WingsThese hot “wings” are actually nuggets of breast meat. They are quick and easy to prepare with a flavor that’s hard to beat.
- Trim and cut breast meat into bite sized pieces (think chicken nuggets.)
- Roll the pieces in an egg and milk mixture and coat with flower or panko bread crumbs.
- Fry the meat in hot oil on the stovetop until breading is held in place.
- Place the breaded meat on a cookie sheet and drizzle with your favorite wing sauce.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 25-35 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the baking sheet, toss the wings in more sauce, and enjoy with bleu cheese or ranch dipping sauce.
Grilled Turkey BreastAnother easy and delicious recipe, this one also lets you stay outdoors while you cook.
- In a large bowl, mix 1 Tbsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 3 cloves of garlic (crushed and peeled,) and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
- Cut breast meat in steaks about the size a deck of cards.
- Toss the steaks in the seasoning mix, cover, and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Remove the meat and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your grill (medium high heat) and grill the steaks until cooked through.
- Serve with fresh grilled asparagus or over a salad.
Wild Turkey Enchiladas
This one’s perfect if you’re in the mood for some south of the border flare.
- Boil 2 turkey breasts, let them cool, and shred the meat.
- Saute 1 small diced onion in 2 Tbsp. butter until tender.
- Add salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste.
- Add 1 small jar of mild green chiles, 2 cans of green chile sauce, and 2 cups of shredded Mexican cheese and stir together until the cheese is melted.
- Spoon the mixture into tortilla shells, wrap them up, and put them into a greased glass baking dish.
- Cover the tortillas with 1 can of green chile sauce and 2 cups of shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the enchiladas are bubbling.
Kentucky Hot BrownsThis hearty open faced sandwich is a family favorite and it has BACON!
- Mix 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 gallon of water.
- Soak 1 side of a turkey’s breast in the mixture overnight.
- Remove the meat from the brine, pat dry, coat with softened butter, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Place the seasoned meat on a baking sheet and cover tightly.
- Roast for 1-1 1/2 hours, basting with butter often, until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
- Remove the meat and let rest, covered, for 20 minutes, then slice the meat across the grain into 1/2 inch slices.
- While the turkey is resting combine 2 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsp. flour, and 2 1/2 cups whole milk in a sauce pan.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until thickened.
- Add 3/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.
- Place a thick slice of warmed sourdough bread on a plate, top it with 2-3 slices of turkey, cover with cheese sauce.
- Add a slice of fresh tomato, three slices of bacon and more shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese. Mmm.
Smoked Turkey BreastHank Shaw is the king of cooking wild game meat. Here’s his recipe for smoked turkey breast.
- Slice of the thin triangular section at the bottom of 1 turkey breast.
- Truss the breast with butcher’s twine so that you have a long cylinder of meat.
- Mix 1/2 cup salt, 4 tsp. curing salt, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 quarts of water until salt and sugar dissolve.
- Submerge your turkey breast in the water. Make sure it is completely covered and leave it in the fridge for 2 days.
- Remove the breast from the water and allow it to dry.
- Smoke the turkey in at 200 degrees for 1 hour.
- Baste the breast with maple syrup or honey and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, basting every 45 minutes.
- Once the breast is up to temperature, baste it one more time and you are done.
Use one of these recipes to prepare your spring gobbler this spring. I know you won’t be disappointed.