|Wild turkey (1)|
|Ready for roasting|
The first thing you'll notice is that our turkey looks a lot more like a chicken than a turkey from the grocery store. Wild turkeys do not have massive breasts. They also don't have any white meat, so be aware of that. The breast meat is much lighter in color than the rest of the bird, but it's all dark meat, make no mistake. The skin is a bit more yellow than store-bought birds, and in this case, the wings were removed before we got it into our pan. The bird itself weighed about 10lbs or so, and this one was male, so I'm told (the other one we have was female).
|Bread for stuffing|
|Add butter and an egg or two|
|Add the spices|
|Making it self-basting|
By cooking the turkey with the bacon over it, I avoided most of the basting. I did go and baste about twice or three times, right near the last hour. I wanted to make sure the flavors were distributed well. When I put the bird into the oven to brown, I shoved the bacon off, exposing the skin underneath. It crisped up beautifully.
Wild turkey has a much more earthy flavor than commercial turkey. You know it's wild. It isn't offensive at all, but the flesh has a different texture. It's a bird that lived a free life, not one in a cage or a small box, and its meat reflects that life.
When cooking any game, always double-check before you begin cooking. Make sure the innards are fully cleaned, and salt it if you feel it necessary. This bird still had a bit of lung in the upper cavity, which isn't unusual (it happens with commercial birds, too!) but would taste pretty funky if left in to cook. Even deer steaks or roasts should be rinsed very well and patted dry with a towel. With a bird, you want to get inside with your hands and feel around for anything that doesn't seem right.
What's your favorite game meat? How do you prepare it?
NOTE: Don't forget about the Freehold giveaway! The contest is open until January 29th, so enter now!
This post was shared at the Homestead Barn Hop #96 (click here to enter).
We're also listed on the Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange 1/29 (click here to enter).
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1) Image by imagefactory / morgueFile free photos