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Recipe: The Best Grilled Wild Turkey Breast. Ever.

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April 05, 2010

Recipe: The Best Grilled Wild Turkey Breast. Ever.

By David DiBenedetto

Boykin spaniels were originally bred to be turkey dogs for hunters in the South Carolina swamps. These days there is no turkey hunting with dogs in the state (there’s not even a fall season), which means when I leave the house before dawn with my gun and gear Pritch is practically busting down the door to come into the woods with me. She knows by the smell of the clothes and the time of the morning I’m headed to the field. (I’m told by my wife that after I leave the pup sits by the door and whines…which is none too cute at 4:30 a.m.)

So in honor of Pritch’s lineage and my first bird of the season (Thank you Lord for 3 ½ inch shells.) I’m going to share a new recipe I tried over the weekend. I’ve eaten plenty of decent wild turkey meals, but this one outshone all of them, even my young nephews and nieces gobbled up the meat.

The recipe comes from my new secret weapon, The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook, co-written by Chris and Ida Hastings. Chris is a bird hunter and a gun dogger, so he knows his wild game. As usual, my wife orchestrated the cooking and made a hearty side salad—roasted local asparagus and beets topped with toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan. Here’s how we handled the bird.

Ingredients

10-12 3-ounce turkey breast steaks (I used one breast and cut mine in portions about the size of a deck of playing cards)

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. pepper

3 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Toss the turkey steaks with salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Cover and chill for one to two hours.

Preheat grill to medium high. Remove turkey from fridge and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove turkey steaks from marinade. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

So that’s my new favorite turkey recipe. Now I just need get another bird. How about you? Got any favorite ways to prepare your gobbler?

Comments (28)

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from jakenbake wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sounds simple and delicious, just the way I like it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

It looks great and I'm going to try it tonight for Dinner..Thanks David!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MPN wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Anything you put in pepper and garlic is going to be good. The problem I find when I cook wild turkey is the toughness.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingKS wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Great and simple recipie. Keep them coming. I always like to "wow" non-hunters with great tasting wild game. Too many people have had bad experiences in the past. We need to work to change that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I'm with MPN on this one. No mater how I prepare wild turkey, it always seems to end up tough. As good and simple as this recipie sounds, does it do a good job combating the birds usual toughness? Regardless, I'm sure I'll try it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

For toughness, I find giving the meat a few hard smacks with a mallet pre-cooking does a fine job breaking up the muscle fibers and making it a more tender cut. Also, it's a fine line between overcooked and undercooked and every grill is a bit different. So, takes a bit of experimenting with cooking times to nail it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Simple is good. I like simple and I like garlic. Sounds great. I am curious about the beets - grilled, too? Asiago cheese might be nice, too.

Seems that getting people to try wild turkey is easier than with any other wild game. Wild turkey just doesn't sound exotic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

always good to get new info like this. thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

You guys are right...It's simple and very good. As for the toughness, I find the cooking time is key...as soon as you cross toward overcooked it's tough chewing. But a whack with a mallet to tenderize before cooking probably wouldn't hurt.

MLH--The beets were roasted for 40 minutes then we removed the skin and cubed. They were fresh from a local farm. As for the cheese, I agree that Asiago would be great and so would Feta. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Dave -
Not sure where you live, but judging from the Hot & Hot recipe, I would guess Alabama. Another side, for those that may not like the asparagus, would be roasted zucchini. My wife will spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray, slice zucchini and dice up a sweet onion, then lightly spray the top with more non-stick spray before shaking some Pilleteri's Italian seasoning (http://www.pilleteri.com/pilleteris.html) over the top and roasting on 350 for about 18-20 minutes depending on desired doneness. Goes great with grilled chicken or baked pork or turkey loin. Man, I'm hungry now!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Thanks for sharing that one. I'll give it a try.

Here is the old tried and true turkey fingers.

Slice the turkey brest across the grain 1/4 inch thick. Marinate the "fingers" in butter milk with hot sauce added to taste for 3-4 hours.

Toss the fingers in seasoned flour and fry in hot peanut oil until just brown. Serve with home made honey mustard dipping sauce (50/50 honey and brown mustard)and a tossed salad. A little of the honeymustard will work on that too. Or if you really want to do up the fried thing...Onion rings and fried mushrooms!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

auburn hunter-- We call Charleston, SC home but am very familiar with Hot & Hot and have met Hastings a couple of times. Btw, the zucchini sounds pretty darn good. -D

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bdarak wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

For tenderizing the Turkey Meat, I suggest using an acidic liquid, such as a diet soda, some type of citrus juice, vinegaror wine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from littleshagshag wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sounds AMAZING!!!! simple is always good

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from BowtechWVU wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

sounds really good especially wild turkey meat

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sounds yummy. I usually slice mine, and batter and fry it, but last year I tried kabobs-- I 'chunked' up a whole turkey breast 2"-3" chunks, marinated it in KC Masterpiece's Teriyaki marinade for about 3 hours, and put it on kabob skewers w/pine-apple, onions, green peppers. Don't overcook, and baste it w/melted butter and garlic. MMMM look out! Also tried different marinades, and it was delicious every time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

beekeeper- try a couple tablespoons of mayo and a tbs. of black pepper in your homemade honey mustard. Gives it a little zing, and the mayo also gives it a 'store-bought' consistency.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Any suggestions for old tom drumsticks? ... besides leaving them with the carcass.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman21 wrote 4 years 1 week ago

i have been looking for a good way to have ours nothing i have tried has worked out

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huskerguy wrote 4 years 1 week ago

That looks great. Gonna have to give it a try when i get a turkey soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Dave --Grilled is breasts are best, broiled works in a pinch. Nothing wrong with fried, either.

MLH: I take my legs and thighs and put them in a crockpot with barbecue sauce. Then I pull the meat off the bones into little shreds. It's not authentic bbq, but it's not bad, either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Jaccard makes a very handy tool for tenderizing meat. It has 36 sharp little blades that pierce the meat cutting the tendons that make it tough. Unlike a mallet the Jaccard tool does not change the meat's texture. Only use it on boneless meat or the blades will bend. They have this handy tool at Cabelas. I use mine on all tough steaks, Wild turkey, goose and duck breast filets. It only costs about 30 bucks and really works well. Got the idea from an old duck hunter. He used the tool on duck breast filets, then marinated them in Soy and cooked on the grill. Best wild duck I EVER tasted.
http://www.cabelas.com Do a search for Jaccard on the Cabelas site and check it out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Wild Turkey legs are very tough but you can boil them until the meat falls of then chop, and add mayo, pickles salt and pepper for a tasty turkey salad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 1 week ago

My first taste of Asparagus was in high school back in the 60's. It was awful. Never would taste the stuff again. Fast forward to 2008 my son's wedding dinner at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London. The main entree was Filet mignon and absolutely delicious grilled asparagus. We eat the stuff all the time nowdays. Just brush with Evoo season with sea salt and grill for a few minutes on each side.
On another subject we never had a bad meal in the 2 weeks the wife and I visited London. Always thought the Brits ate no better than the Aussies. Boy was I wrong on that one. Back in 75 we had a little Army trip to Australia for 6 weeks. Lovely place, beautiful girls, lots things to do but the food was awfull. The only good meal was grilled prawns. Maybe that has changed in the last 35 years, hope so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muddman wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Im with Beekeeper but sometimes I will make brown gravy and drop the fried pieces in and let them soak it up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 1 week ago

WOW!Congratulations Dave!Looks great on the table too!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdrewhall wrote 4 years 1 week ago

I'm going to try this recipe on my first bird which will hopefully come this weekend.

www.outdoorwriter.net

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Deer-N-Turkey wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Best turkey I've ever had! Mine was very tender, and it was old which can make it tougher.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from MPN wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Anything you put in pepper and garlic is going to be good. The problem I find when I cook wild turkey is the toughness.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingKS wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Great and simple recipie. Keep them coming. I always like to "wow" non-hunters with great tasting wild game. Too many people have had bad experiences in the past. We need to work to change that.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Thanks for sharing that one. I'll give it a try.

Here is the old tried and true turkey fingers.

Slice the turkey brest across the grain 1/4 inch thick. Marinate the "fingers" in butter milk with hot sauce added to taste for 3-4 hours.

Toss the fingers in seasoned flour and fry in hot peanut oil until just brown. Serve with home made honey mustard dipping sauce (50/50 honey and brown mustard)and a tossed salad. A little of the honeymustard will work on that too. Or if you really want to do up the fried thing...Onion rings and fried mushrooms!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sounds simple and delicious, just the way I like it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rudyglove27 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

It looks great and I'm going to try it tonight for Dinner..Thanks David!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnBear52786 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I'm with MPN on this one. No mater how I prepare wild turkey, it always seems to end up tough. As good and simple as this recipie sounds, does it do a good job combating the birds usual toughness? Regardless, I'm sure I'll try it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

You guys are right...It's simple and very good. As for the toughness, I find the cooking time is key...as soon as you cross toward overcooked it's tough chewing. But a whack with a mallet to tenderize before cooking probably wouldn't hurt.

MLH--The beets were roasted for 40 minutes then we removed the skin and cubed. They were fresh from a local farm. As for the cheese, I agree that Asiago would be great and so would Feta. -D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from littleshagshag wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sounds AMAZING!!!! simple is always good

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Jaccard makes a very handy tool for tenderizing meat. It has 36 sharp little blades that pierce the meat cutting the tendons that make it tough. Unlike a mallet the Jaccard tool does not change the meat's texture. Only use it on boneless meat or the blades will bend. They have this handy tool at Cabelas. I use mine on all tough steaks, Wild turkey, goose and duck breast filets. It only costs about 30 bucks and really works well. Got the idea from an old duck hunter. He used the tool on duck breast filets, then marinated them in Soy and cooked on the grill. Best wild duck I EVER tasted.
http://www.cabelas.com Do a search for Jaccard on the Cabelas site and check it out.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Wild Turkey legs are very tough but you can boil them until the meat falls of then chop, and add mayo, pickles salt and pepper for a tasty turkey salad.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 1 week ago

My first taste of Asparagus was in high school back in the 60's. It was awful. Never would taste the stuff again. Fast forward to 2008 my son's wedding dinner at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London. The main entree was Filet mignon and absolutely delicious grilled asparagus. We eat the stuff all the time nowdays. Just brush with Evoo season with sea salt and grill for a few minutes on each side.
On another subject we never had a bad meal in the 2 weeks the wife and I visited London. Always thought the Brits ate no better than the Aussies. Boy was I wrong on that one. Back in 75 we had a little Army trip to Australia for 6 weeks. Lovely place, beautiful girls, lots things to do but the food was awfull. The only good meal was grilled prawns. Maybe that has changed in the last 35 years, hope so.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

For toughness, I find giving the meat a few hard smacks with a mallet pre-cooking does a fine job breaking up the muscle fibers and making it a more tender cut. Also, it's a fine line between overcooked and undercooked and every grill is a bit different. So, takes a bit of experimenting with cooking times to nail it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Simple is good. I like simple and I like garlic. Sounds great. I am curious about the beets - grilled, too? Asiago cheese might be nice, too.

Seems that getting people to try wild turkey is easier than with any other wild game. Wild turkey just doesn't sound exotic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

always good to get new info like this. thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from auburn_hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Dave -
Not sure where you live, but judging from the Hot & Hot recipe, I would guess Alabama. Another side, for those that may not like the asparagus, would be roasted zucchini. My wife will spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray, slice zucchini and dice up a sweet onion, then lightly spray the top with more non-stick spray before shaking some Pilleteri's Italian seasoning (http://www.pilleteri.com/pilleteris.html) over the top and roasting on 350 for about 18-20 minutes depending on desired doneness. Goes great with grilled chicken or baked pork or turkey loin. Man, I'm hungry now!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave DiBenedetto wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

auburn hunter-- We call Charleston, SC home but am very familiar with Hot & Hot and have met Hastings a couple of times. Btw, the zucchini sounds pretty darn good. -D

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bdarak wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

For tenderizing the Turkey Meat, I suggest using an acidic liquid, such as a diet soda, some type of citrus juice, vinegaror wine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from BowtechWVU wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

sounds really good especially wild turkey meat

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sounds yummy. I usually slice mine, and batter and fry it, but last year I tried kabobs-- I 'chunked' up a whole turkey breast 2"-3" chunks, marinated it in KC Masterpiece's Teriyaki marinade for about 3 hours, and put it on kabob skewers w/pine-apple, onions, green peppers. Don't overcook, and baste it w/melted butter and garlic. MMMM look out! Also tried different marinades, and it was delicious every time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

beekeeper- try a couple tablespoons of mayo and a tbs. of black pepper in your homemade honey mustard. Gives it a little zing, and the mayo also gives it a 'store-bought' consistency.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Any suggestions for old tom drumsticks? ... besides leaving them with the carcass.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman21 wrote 4 years 1 week ago

i have been looking for a good way to have ours nothing i have tried has worked out

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huskerguy wrote 4 years 1 week ago

That looks great. Gonna have to give it a try when i get a turkey soon.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Dave --Grilled is breasts are best, broiled works in a pinch. Nothing wrong with fried, either.

MLH: I take my legs and thighs and put them in a crockpot with barbecue sauce. Then I pull the meat off the bones into little shreds. It's not authentic bbq, but it's not bad, either.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from muddman wrote 4 years 1 week ago

Im with Beekeeper but sometimes I will make brown gravy and drop the fried pieces in and let them soak it up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 1 week ago

WOW!Congratulations Dave!Looks great on the table too!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mdrewhall wrote 4 years 1 week ago

I'm going to try this recipe on my first bird which will hopefully come this weekend.

www.outdoorwriter.net

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Deer-N-Turkey wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

Best turkey I've ever had! Mine was very tender, and it was old which can make it tougher.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment