How to Cook a Wild Turkey: The 3 Delicious Recipes to Try Out!
You've gone turkey hunting and caught yourself a big one, perfect for Thanksgiving dinner! But wait: How do you properly cook it from scratch?
When you capture the wild turkey, it's still got its feathers and you'll need to dress it yourself, cleaning and separating its meats before cooking. It's different from your typical store-bought domesticated turkey, that's for sure!
With that being said, what's the best way to cook wild turkeys and where can you begin? I did the research on how to cook a wild turkey, so you know what to do from start to finish. Read on!
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of Consuming Wild Turkeys
- Dressing and Cleaning a Wild Turkey
- How to Cook a Wild Turkey: Three Delicious Recipes!
- Bonus Tips on Cooking Wild Turkey
- Wrapping It Up
The Benefits of Consuming Wild Turkeys
You're probably wondering: What does wild turkey have to offer anyway? Is it similar to purchasing a store-bought turkey from the groceries?
Well, consuming wild turkey that's dressed and cleaned correctly has a ton of advantages, such as:
Versatility In Dishes
Fried, baked, grilled, ground, you name it! There are so many things to create from a turkey that you'll never run out of ideas.
Tastes Delicious Despite What People Say
People think that wild turkey tastes tougher and the dark meat puts them off. Well, that's so wrong because it tastes absolutely delicious when you cook it well!
Tons of Protein
Turkey offers a great balance of both fat and protein, which is required for more energy and muscle-building. It's the perfect post-hunting meal to replenish those muscles!
Feel Proud About Your Catch
Who doesn't feel proud about reaping what they sow? You'll have bragging rights and tell everyone about your new catch being on the dinner table!
Dressing and Cleaning a Wild Turkey
Before actually cooking your wild turkey, you have to know what to do once you shoot and capture it in the fields! I recommend that you dress your wild turkey immediately upon killing it, to quicken the process and make it taste better.
Here are the steps to follow when doing so:
- 1For starters, you need to pluck all the feathers, pulling them out bit by bit as you secure the skin. This prevents the skin from tearing. You can also place the bird in a pot of boiling water to make this step (and the following steps) easier.
- 2Next, cut the wings from the first joint and cut its tail above the gland. After that, cut the feet, and remove the head (from the neck).
- 3Once you have properly cut off these body parts, remove its insides by cutting a slit underneath the tail. Pull out the insides by the handful, separating the gizzard, heart, and liver from its innards.
- 4Remove its crop, which is the digested food (the crop lies where the neck lies near the chest).
- 5Rinse its carcass thoroughly to remove blood and lung tissue. After that, you're ready to take it home and clean/wash it properly.
Check out this helpful video on how to dress a wild turkey:
How to Cook a Wild Turkey: Three Delicious Recipes!
Once your wild turkey is dressed and cleaned, it's ready to be cooked! These are my three favorite recipes that my entire family loves whenever I bring home wild turkey for our next dinner:
Simple and Flavorful Baked Wild Turkey Breast
This is a classic and simple recipe I love to do, without using "complicated" ingredients!
- 1Mix both dressing and wine, then pour it into a zip-lock bag (one gallon big). Place the turkey breast inside and allow it to marinate overnight, turning it once.
- 2Drain the marinade and throw it away. Sprinkle the seasonings on the turkey breast, and place it in the oven cooking bag.
- 3Melt the butter and mix it with the olive oil, and drizzle around the turkey breast.
- 4Place it on a 9x5 loaf pan and bake for an hour and a half at 350 degrees. Take it out, let it cool, and enjoy it with a salad or rice!
Deep-Fried Crispy Wild Turkey Legs
I love this because it tastes similar to chicken cutlets but more flavorful and crispy! I love pairing this with a bowl of steaming rice or as a filling sandwich.
- 1Pound your turkey breasts into four half-inch thick pieces and soak them in buttermilk overnight.
- 2Mix the flour and all the remaining ingredients (besides the oil) in a pan. Remove the turkey breasts from the buttermilk and place it directly on the seasoned flour and dredge thoroughly.
- 3Heat the oil over medium heat before pan-frying the cutlets. Turn the breasts every four minutes until golden brown.
- 4Serve and enjoy with your favorite carbs and sauces!
Awesome Wild Turkey Burgers
Who knew you can make your own turkey burgers, which are less fatty than what you're used to? It's extremely delicious and healthy!
- 1Combine the ground turkey with the egg, then add the chili, bell pepper, shallots, chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Mix well to blend and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- 2Preheat your grill over medium-high heat, oiling it or using a nonstick pan.
- 3Mold your turkey meat mixture into six equal mounds, shaping it to patties. Then coat the outer parts with a generous amount of olive oil.
- 4Put the burgers on the grill and leave it for six minutes, turning it and grilling for another five minutes.
- 5Place the burgers on the bun and top with your favorite toppings and sauces. Enjoy!
Bonus Tips on Cooking Wild Turkey
Now that you know about the top delicious recipes you can try when cooking a wild turkey, what are other helpful tips to follow? Here are some helpful ones to check out for a better-tasting output:
Wrapping It Up
And there you have it! You don't need to spend a ton of money hiring someone else to dress or cook your turkey. As long as you follow the steps and had the right supplies, you'll be able to whip up a delicious dish that everyone will love this Thanksgiving.
I hope that this article on how to cook a wild turkey gave you an idea on what you should begin doing for an awesome dinner with your loved ones. So don't wait any longer and try any of these recipes now!
If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on cooking a wild turkey, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.