Preparing turkeys

Discussion in 'Turkey Hunting' started by smhmc6, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Hey guys, this spring will be my first turkey season. I've enjoyed deer hunting for a couple years and I decided I would try my hand at turkey hunting. I'm pretty excited about it, I've been practicing my calling pretty much daily for about 2 months. I'm getting fairly confident with my mouth call and all but thats not really what my question is about. A lot of people ask about calling techniques and different strategies but I haven't seen alot on preparing turkey's for the table. On just about every department of wildlife page there are brief descriptions of how to clean birds so I have a pretty good idea about the basics. I am planning on buying one of those turkey deep fryers here pretty soon so I want to pluck my bird (hopefully if i get one:tounge_out:). My question is, do any of you have any special tips or tricks you have learned with experience on the easiest way to pluck a turkey? Anything and everything would be very helpful, I really want to learn everything I can before I head out to the woods. I wouldn't feel like a responsible hunter if I didn't know everything I could. Thanks for all your responces and good luck on all your upcoming turkey seasons!
     
  2. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    wild turkey is just that wild their legs and wings are so tough they are not worth the trouble to try to prepare your best bet is to split the skin on the breats and pull the white breast out like you would a dove only on a large version the breast is still deep fryable or cut into nuggets and thrown into the wok as i do for stir fry
     

  3. huntsfromtree

    huntsfromtree New Member

    Messages:
    142
    State:
    KC Northland
    I honestly dont think I would pluck a whole wild turkey to fry. Maybe if it was a Jake but plucking still is a lot of work. All I do is breast them out and cut the drums off. Usually I grill the breast after marinating in Italian dressing or fry them. The drums we usually roast at low temps.
     
  4. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I've dry plucked the ones I have killed . Just pull a few feathers at a time till your done ,it takes time but it will be worth it after you finish plucking the bird singe the 'hair ' off with a propane torch then draw it [gut it] .
     
  5. Blue Duck

    Blue Duck New Member

    Messages:
    465
    State:
    Idaho
    I skin them and bone out the meat. I slice the breasts so I have slabs about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch thick and roll them in Krusteez. Fry um in olive oil. Its really good. As stated above the legs and wings are tough. I bone out the theigh but the lower leg is full of cords and bones and not worth the trouble. Legs and wings can flavor a soup, but there is not much meat there. I haven't tried it but plucking the bird and deep frying it in a turkey cooker is supposed the be the way to go.
     
  6. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    I'm going to through my two cents worth in here, Cause I'm sort of a self proclaimed expert on cooking all wild game.
    Wild Turkey is absolutly nothing like a tame turkey. The tame turkey is bred for table fare, and is not that old, plus they are fed grain to put fat on them so when Thanksgiving and Christmas come along we have a great family meal.
    I don't think I would go through the effort of plucking a turkey unless it was a Jake, (like someone mentioned earlier), cause that bird is less than a year old. (more tender). Someone else also mentioned about not keeping the legs, cause of how tuff they are, and he was right. They are tuffer than an old maid kiss. But, this is what I do to prepare my bird.
    I skin it, just like someone mentioned, but I take the leg and the thighs and filet all the meat off them. When you are working on the legs, it is a pain because of all the tendons in them, but when you're done, it is well worth the effort. Take all of that meat, and put it into a crock pot, with some water, garlic, onions, and 3 or 4 chicken bullion cubes, and season it to taste with the spices you like. Let that cook on low for at least a day, (sometimes more depending on how old the long beard is). Cut the meat into bite size pc. put it back in the broth with any type of veggies, or barley or both, ( Noodles and or rice are fine too) and you have a great soup. If you want, take everything out of the crock pot and put it into a stew kettle,(after the meat is tender), and put it on the stove til it boils and make some dumpling from bisquick and let it simmer til the dumplings are done and you will have yourself a great stew and dumplings that will feed the whole family.

    Now for the breasts. Filet the meat off, running your filet knife right down the side of the breast bone, take your time so you don't miss any of the inside tenderloin. You now have two halfs of breast meat. Pull the tendloins off and set aside. (Remember, this is the filet mignon of the turkey).
    The outside of the breast meat, has a thin layer of light colored skin, that can be tough on older birds, so I take my time with a filet knife and take it off. Now I take my knife and slice the breast in half so you have four pieces that are about 1/2 to 3/4 of and inch thick. Take each pc. (one at a time), and put it between two pcs. of wax paper and press it down to about 1/4 inch thick. ( I use a small plastic cutting board for this process). Be careful not to press to hard, cause this meat is delicate. Now, comes the fun part.
    Someone mentioned earlier about grilling the breasts after marinating in Italian dressing. This is a great choice, but here is what I do. I put Extra Virgin Olive Oil on both sides, and season it with Cavender's (Greek Seasoning), and put them on a smoking hot gill. Remember, poultry breast that thin, does not require much cooking, so don't over cook them, or they will get tuff. You can put some cheese of your choice on these, dress up a hoogie bun with some lettuce and mayo, and you have a great sandwich. Or serve them with potatoes and veggies and your wife will think she has died and gone to heaven. Or, if you really want to Woo the cockles of your spouses culinary taste buds, this is my favorite.
    Take the pieces that you flatten out, season them with Greek Seasoning dredge them in Drakes Mix, (or flour). Heat up some Ex. Virgin Olive Oil and fry on both sides til done. Remember, do not over cook them . Just til juices run clear. Now, place the cooked pcs. on a plate and put them in the oven at 200 degrees just to keep them warm. Now, make up a nice gravey with onions, mushrooms. Pour some gravey over each pc. sprinkle a little parsley on top and serve with mashed potatoes and corn and you will become king of the castle. (If of course, you're not already King)
    Now, if you really want your wife to think you have attended Sparky's School of Culinary Arts, Servere her the tenderlion in this fashion. Make sure before you flattin the tenderloins, that you filet the tendon out of it first. When she eats the filet migion of turkey you have just prepared. She'll let you go hunting or fishing anytime you want.

    For those of you who have taken the time to read this whole post without getting bored to death. You have just complete Wild Turkey Cooking 101 from Sparky's Culinary Kitchen.
    Sparky
     
  7. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks for all the help guys. Once again BOC members are more then willing to offer advice. I still consider myself to be a newbie here and I'm amazed at the willingness to help. Anyway, I thought the deep frying would be a good idea for me because how hard could it be? You just inject the bird, drop it in the oil and cook it. Easy enough for a guy like me... but actually all those ideas you guys gave me sound fairly simple if not easier. I'll have to try them all out eventually. And by they way sparky, I guess I have completed the "Wild Turkey Cooking 101 from Sparky's Culinary Kitchen" in theory, but it sounds like you have a lot more tasty recipes up your sleeve then I will ever have. Thanks again guys!
     
  8. Sparky Larson

    Sparky Larson New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Marlette Michigan
    Anytime you have a question or want some help preparing fish or wild game of any kind, send me a PM. If it can be eaten, I know a way to cook it to please the taste buds of most anyone.
    Good luck and happy hunting!
    Sparky
     
  9. cook

    cook New Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    State:
    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    I've plucked and deepfried several wild turkeys.Never beed dissapointed,very flavorfull.Do your best to keep all the skin on.
    I've heard of duck hunters either dipping them in hot water or melted wax before plucking,but never tried it myself.
    You can also hang it from a tree and singe the pinhairs off with a rolled up newspaper.Just a few sheets at a time.