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.
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?