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Apr 2, 2008 04:53 PM

Suggestions for cooking a wild turkey breast

My recent houseguests in Florida killed an Osceola turkey (one of the four grand slam gobblers). We cut the first breast into strips, egg-washed them, floured, and fried. Tasty, but deserved better. They generously gave me the second breast, boneless and skinned in one big hunk, about 3 lbs, now in the freezer, before they departed.
I would like to do a more regal preparation with the other breast for a small dinner party. Ideas?

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  1. hmmmmm....
    what about butterflying, tenderizing with that needle tenderizer -- ---
    and doing a roulade (or stuffing with) wild rice and orange zest, maybe some nuts (pecan!), craisins?, onion, parsley, and lots of pepper! cream gravy with brandy or cognac and peppercorns. yum, yum, yum.

    i think maybe there have been some ideas on the boards about brining turkey. i don't know if that would be appropriate here or not because of the cut. my nephew hunts turkey, and i've eaten his tenderized (but not brined) deep fried tenderloin strips. those are some good eats!

    1. Maybe a Picatta recipe....I'm thinking a simple white sauce, (butter, flour, milk/cream) with lots of Morels...either fresh or reconstituted.

      If you try oven roasting, you may want to consider barding, or coating with butter and frequent basting to prevent drying out. Without the skin this would be my concern.


      1. I'm thinking grilled turkey steaks. Slice the breast into several thick-ish steaks and marinate them in a combo of dry white wine, fresh lemon juice, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper... perhaps adding some red pepper flakes or other seasoning you like. Let the steaks marinate for a couple of hours then fire up the barby and relax on your hammock with a Margarita while the grill does the work..

        If you're interested Veggo, there are a few wild turkey specific web sites, one of which is the National Wild Turkey Federation. Every thing you never wanted to know....

        1. I'd devise some sort of "local, wild" stuffing that includes quite a bit of fat...then roll, tie, & roast it. Bacon, fresh greens, wild rice? Citrus glaze? Oysters & breadcrumbs & a little bit of pork sausage for the stuffing?

          1. Salt-bake your turkey breast! Here's a general way to do it:
            1. make a compound butter with any herbs you'd like
            2. s&p turkey breast and smother with compound butter
            3. wrap turkey breast with cheese cloth
            4. mix about 5 cups of kosher salt with an egg white and just enough water for the salt to look like wet sand
            5. wrap turkey breast in salt mixture. if you run out of salt, just make more
            6. bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
            7. take out of oven and rest 15 minutes
            8. carefully remove the salt crust from the breast -- once you crack it, you should be able to peel the whole thing away with help from the cheese cloth
            9. Serve with whatever sides you'd like
            10. watch as your friends and family ooh and ahh, exclaiming that this is so neat and wow -- the turkey is so moist and not a bit salty!

            I've done this with pheasant as well.

            Good luck!

            4 Replies
            1. re: Vshu

              I am thrilled by these diverse suggestions in just a day; thank you all. The salt-bake method has intrigued me since I first learned about it here. I want to test the procedure on a store-bought turkey breast prior to roasting the Osceola.
              Q: Can I butterfly it with a sexy stuffing (I'm thinking cornbread stuffing with sage, oysters and crumbled fried chorizo), and then do the salt bake?

              1. re: Vshu

                vshu, salt bake a skinless breast? wasn't your pheasant skin-on? and is pheasant dry, naturally, like turkey? i would think that a simple roast, with foil for a while, would be more suitable -- but i've never salt-roasted.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Thanks, alkapal. My biggest concern is not drying out the turkey. Hungry Celeste suggested bacon, which may be a good idea. I often do the "bag" thing with whole turkeys, but I don't want to steam or poach just a breast.
                  I'll await "sage" advice! Thanks!

                  1. re: Veggo

                    veggo, i'm not crazy am i? didn't i have a post here about marinated venison in a roasting bag?

                    ps: to keep turkey breast moist: marinate, then roast it wrapped in caul fat! that way you can butterfly and stuff it, too.