Beer-and-Mustard Pulled Turkey

Mix the coriander, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl; rub the mixture over the thighs, coating them evenly and thoroughly.

Pour the beer into a 6-quart stovetop or electric pressure cooker; nestle the thighs into the beer. Lock the lid onto the pot.

STOVETOP: Set the pot over high heat and bring it to high pressure (15 psi). Once this pressure has been reached, reduce the heat as much as possible while maintaining this pressure. Cook for 30 minutes.


ELECTRIC: Set the machine to cook at high pressure (9–11 psi). Set the machine’s timer to cook at high pressure for 45 minutes.

Use the quick-release method to drop the pot’s pressure to normal. Unlock and open the cooker. Transfer the thighs to a carving board; cool for a few minutes. Debone the meat and chop it into small bits.

Set the stovetop cooker over medium heat or turn the electric cooker to its browning function; bring the liquid inside to a simmer. Cook until reduced to about half its volume when you opened the pot in the previous step, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and tomato paste until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring all the while. Add the chopped turkey, stir well, and set aside off the heat or unplugged for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Eastern NC BBQ Pulled Turkey

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I love BBQ Pulled turkey but didn’t realize I did until well into my adult years. I grew up in Goldsboro, North Carolina – where everything is celebrated with a pig pickin’. I also grew up disallowed from eating pork, which made all the pig pickins tough.

Once when I was 10 I snuck some (A LOT OF) pulled pork at my uncle’s cookout and I remember it being DELICIOUS. I also remember being sick for 2 days after and having to admit to my staunchly Seventh Day Adventist grandparents that I’d eaten some unclean meats and everybody praying over me in church the next Sabbath. ?

Over the years I discovered places that had Eastern NC BBQ Pulled Turkey (and beef if I was really lucky) to accommodate the ‘no pork on my fork’ folks like myself so I’ve been able to enjoy our region’s signature spicy vinegar-based BBQ style.

I also happily ate my weight in hushpuppies at various places with only pork (pour one out for Wilbur’s, where they had the BEST hushpuppies!).

This recipe for Eastern NC BBQ Pulled Turkey is actually chopped, and instead of BBQ’d it’s made in the Crockpot because I live in an apartment and I can’t cook outside. Meh.

It’s really good though – the flavor still hits almost the same, so it’s a good substitute if you can’t get the real thing.

I make my own BBQ sauce, but I am not sharing that recipe, and highly recommend using Scott’s Barbecue Sauce if you’re looking for a good one.

41 Leftover Turkey Recipes for Gobbling After Thanksgiving

If you're anything like us, you'll have plenty of meat left over after your Thanksgiving meal—which is why we rounded up our favorite leftover turkey recipes. While we love a classic leftover turkey sandwich—especially those towering creations stacked high with stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce—we've also included plenty of ways to use your leftovers to create entirely new dishes. (Think casseroles, salads, soups, pot pie, enchiladas, and more.)

Even if your Thanksgiving gathering is small this year, it might be worth it to cook a whole bird, just to ensure there's plenty of meat to use in all these post-Thanksgiving recipes. Cooked turkey will stay fresh in your refrigerator for a few days, and it can also be frozen for up to two months—so you have time to get to quite a few of these gems.

Barbecue Pulled-Turkey Sandwiches

Whisk mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and celery seeds in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cabbage toss to blend. Cover bowl and chill. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.


Step 2

Sauté bacon in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, dark brown sugar, chili powder, and ground cumin. Bring sauce to boil reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Add shredded cooked turkey to barbecue sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until turkey is heated through, stirring occasionally.

Step 4

Split and toast rolls. Divide turkey and slaw among rolls. Press tops down lightly to compress, then serve.

How would you rate Barbecue Pulled-Turkey Sandwiches?

Excellent way to use leftover turkey

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

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Cheddar, beer and mustard pull-apart bread

You might have created a monster. I went back and forth, again and again, before sharing the recipe for potato chip cookies. My presumption was that most sane people would find them revolting that the comment section would be a string of “eww”s. Silly me! It turns out that a whole lot of you are closet potato chip sandwich lovers, and worse. You put Doritos on your pizza! You put Cheetos on your tuna! I am clearly among my brethren. This will only lead to trouble, as the next time I have a weird, funky combination of flavors I want to try out, who will stop me? Clearly, not you.

Like this. For a while, I’ve been enamored with this idea of pull-apart bread, such as Flo Braker’s from her latest book. Yet as lovely as buttery lemon sugar is, or cinnamon sugar for that matter, is, I wanted to give it a savory spin. My first inclination was to go with the universally adored (but kinda overused these days, don’t you think?) cheddar, chives and bacon — i.e. baked potato toppings — but what I’ve really been dreaming about lately is Welsh rarebit, which I understand to be pub food in places I haven’t been lucky enough to travel to yet. It’s a thick, punchy, rich sauce made with cheddar and mustard and beer and butter and cream and spices and it is often ladled over a piece of toast, such as rye or another brown bread. And I want it.

In my kitchen, with nobody there to stop me, I mashed the two up. I made a rich bread dough, tender enough to “pull apart” with butter and eggs, but then beer where the milk or water would be. I threw in a slip of rye flour for flavor and muscle, but you can totally skip that if you don’t have rye flour around. I made a sauce of melted butter, mustard, a little steak sauce and a dash of hot sauce and brushed it over the dough and then I sprinkled the whole thing thickly with shredded cheddar that had been spiced with paprika, mustard powder, salt and pepper. And then I cut the whole thing into stacked squares and baked it and shortly after that, pulled from the oven a floppy, Slinky or card catalog of a loaf of bread that made me immediately want to finish that cold beer in the fridge.

Alas, it was time for preschool pick-up and so, as usual these days, I behaved like an adult. I promise not make the same mistake on Sunday.

Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Rye Bread

This was inspired in structure by Flo Braker’s Lemon Bread in flavor by Welsh Rarebit.

4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup beer (140 ml), preferably dark but really, use whatever you like to drink
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup (40 grams) rye flour (use additional a-p flour if you don’t have this)
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope, 1/4 ounce or 7 grams) instant yeast
1 teaspoon (6 grams) table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature

3 tablespoon (42 grams) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (15 grams) Dijon or a mustard of your choice
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot sauce
1 teaspoon (3 grams) mustard powder
1 teaspoon (2 grams) paprika
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) table salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 1/2 cups (170 grams) shredded cheddar

Make dough: In a small saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup of beer, just until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/3 cup beer. Set aside to cool down slightly. You want the mixture warm (110 to 116 degrees), but not steaming hot.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast and table salt. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-beer mixture, mixing only until the flour is moistened. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. The batter will look lumpy, but will become smooth in a moment. Add the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and all of the rye flour, mixing until just combined. Replace paddle with a dough hook and let the machine knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes on low.

Oil a medium/large bowl and transfer dough to it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 50 to 60 minutes, until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare fillings.

[Do ahead: You can also rest the dough in the fridge overnight — wrapped tightly with plastic. The next day, let it rest at room temperature for an hour before rolling out.]

Make fillings: Back in the same small saucepan you used for the butter and beer, melt the 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire and hot sauce until smooth. Set aside.

In the bottom of a medium bowl, stir together mustard powder, paprika, table salt and several grinds of black pepper. Add shredded cheddar and toss until grated strands are evenly coated with spices. I like to keep this in the fridge until needed so it doesn’t get soft and clumpy, making it harder to sprinkle over the dough in a bit.

Assemble bread: Either coat a 9-by-5 loaf pan lightly with butter or a nonstick spray and set aside.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured counter and roll the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the counter by lifting sections and re-flouring the counter as needed. Brush the butter-mustard-Worcestershire mixture evenly over the whole surface, right up to the edges. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips each should be 12-by-4 inches. Sprinkle the first one evenly with a heaping 1/4 cup of the grated cheese (which is now fine to leave out at room temperature). Gently place another strip on top of it, coat it with another heaping 1/4 cup of cheese, and repeat with remaining strips until they are stacked 5-high and all of the cheese is used.

With your very sharpest serrated knife, gently — so gently! The lightest sawing motions the weight of the blade will allow! — cut your stack into 6 to 7 2-inch segments (each stacked segment should be 4-by-2 inches). I say 6 to 7 range because while your 12-inch length should clearly yield only 6 2-inch segments, I find that the soft dough stretches so much when you lift and stack it that I end up with 7. Either amount will fit this is totally not something to fret over.

Arrange stacks of dough down the length of your prepared loaf pan as if filling a card catalog drawer. I make this easier by standing my loaf pan up on its short end to make the next part easier. If, when you finish filing all of your dough stacks, you ended up with less than needed for the dough “cards” to reach the end of the pan, when you return the pan to rest flat on the counter again, just shimmy it a little so the dough centers. It will all even out in the final rise/oven. If you ended up with too many dough cards, before you add the last stack, simply press gently on the dough already filed to make room for it.

Loosely cover the pan with more plastic wrap and set it aside to rise again for 30 to 45 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Bake loaf for 25 to 35 minutes, until puffed and brown. Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes before flipping it out onto a serving plate/cutting board. Serve warm with cold beer.

Loaf “pulls” apart the easiest when it is hot or warm. If it has cooled beyond the point that the layers wish to easily separate, simply serve it in thin slices. Wrap leftovers in plastic and keep at room temperature for a day. I bet the leftovers would be fantastic reheated with scrambled eggs.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

  • Here’s another excellent way to cook chicken: Our Perfectly Poached Chicken is soft, tender, and flavorful.
  • These Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas are so flavorful and this shredded chicken is perfect for the filling. We toss chicken with salsa verde, sour cream, garlic and cheese.
  • If you are wondering whether or not you can make this in a slow cooker, you can! Hop over to our Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Recipe to see how easy it is.

Recipe updated, originally posted June 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have add a recipe video and tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Weekend Recipe: Tennessee Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

To make shredded turkey sandwiches that were both smoky and moist, the chefs at Cook's Country salted the turkey breasts to keep this lean meat juicy. Positioning the breasts on the grill so that the thicker ends were closer to the heat source evened out the cooking time. Using 2 cups of soaked wood chips gave the delicate turkey breast meat substantial but not overpowering smokiness. And transferring the breasts to a disposable aluminum pan and topping them with butter partway through cooking added richness to the meat. We topped off the sandwiches with a tangy white barbecue sauce.

Tennessee Pulled Turkey Sandwiches
Serves 8 to 10

We prefer a natural (unbrined) turkey breast here, but both self-basting and kosher work well. Plan ahead: The salted meat needs to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours. Skip the salting step if you buy a kosher or self-basting breast. Some stores sell only boneless turkey breasts with the skin still attached the skin can be removed easily with a paring knife. If you don’t have ¹⁄₂ cup of juices from the rested turkey, supplement with chicken broth.

2 (1 3/4- to 2-pound) boneless, skinless split turkey breast, trimmed
Kosher salt and pepper
2 cups wood chips
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

White Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 hamburger buns
Shredded iceberg lettuce

1. FOR THE TURKEY: Pat turkey dry with paper towels, place on large sheet of plastic wrap, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. Just before grilling, soak wood chips in water for 15 minutes, then drain. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips in 8 by 4½-inch foil packet. (Make sure chips do not poke holes in sides or bottom of packet.) Cut 2 evenly spaced 2-inch slits in top of packet.

3A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (4½ quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.

3B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Remove cooking grate and place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Set grate in place, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on medium-high and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature between 300 and 350 degrees.)

4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Unwrap turkey and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons pepper and cayenne. Place turkey on cooler side of grill, with thicker parts of breasts closest to fire. Cover grill (positioning lid vent directly over turkey if using charcoal) and cook until breasts register 120 degrees, 30 to 40 minutes.

5. Transfer turkey to disposable pan and top with butter. Cover pan tightly with foil and return to cooler side of grill. Cover grill and continue to cook until breasts register 160 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes longer. Remove pan from grill and let turkey rest in covered pan for 20 minutes.

6. FOR THE WHITE BARBECUE SAUCE: Whisk all ingredients in bowl until smooth.

7. Transfer turkey to cutting board. Using two forks or your hands, shred turkey into bite-size pieces. Transfer to large bowl. Add ½ cup juices from pan to shredded turkey and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve turkey on buns with white barbecue sauce and lettuce.

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Thanksgiving Dumplings

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

There will be no more boring Thanksgiving leftovers with this Asian-inspired Thanksgiving dumplings recipe in your arsenal. Tender pockets of dough are filled with whatever your heart desires—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole—to make tasty potstickers that are first browned and then steamed to perfection.

Pulled Turkey with a South Carolina style mustard BBQ Sauce

The Carolinas seem to have more regional BBQ styles than anywhere else in the U.S. From the tangy vinegar-based sauce of North Carolina, to the mustard-based (but still tangy) sauce of South Carolina. But there are also differences as you travel from East to West in these two states as well.

Since I used a North Carolina vinegar sauce on my Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork recipe, I moved a little further south for this recipe by using a South Carolina Mustard-based sauce.

This is still quite vinegary, but also quite tasty. If you want less of a vinegar kick, you could add a little more honey (start with an extra tablespoon and go from there).

I was originally going to do this with pork, but the turkey breast was cheaper so I thought I would try something a little different.

I bought a half turkey breast complete with skin and bone. For most recipes I would have left it intact, but in this case it works better by removing the skin and bone so you can get a nice brown crust on both sides. You could always buy a boneless breast, but my local market didn’t have any at the time.

I think I should start having a contest to guess which ingredient is missing from the ingredients photos for each recipe, since there seems to be at least one thing missing every time. This time, if you guessed Worcestershire Sauce you would be correct! And as a bonus, I didn’t have the beer in the photo either. Oh, or liquid smoke! Wow, I really dropped the ball this time!

It was Friday evening and I was feeling lazy, so instead of putting a rub together, I just used seasoned salt (I use Penzey’s 4S). It worked just fine.

The turkey breast was about 3 pounds including the skin and bone, so I am guessing it ended up being about 2 pounds. This could easily serve four, but the S.O. and I liked it so much we finished the entire thing. Of course, afterwards we spent the evening in a food coma wracked with guilt for overindulging while watching reruns of “Monk”.

I served it with a Cole Slaw with bacon and homemade mayo (I just had to get some pork in the meal somehow, didn’t I?).

Seven Next-Level Wild-Turkey Recipes

Tess Rousey

Other than on a single day in November, turkeys don’t get much play as table fare, which, if you ask me, is a real shame. Though not as fat as a Butterball, an adult wild tom carries 10 pounds or more of meat. Many hunters no doubt favor the breast, but the dark, flavorful legs and thighs are great, too, when prepared correctly. To help give the wild gobbler the respect it deserves, here are seven creative and tasty recipes to try with your spring tom.

1. Greek Stuffed Gobbler Breast

A Mediterranean stuffed-meat favorite. Tess Rousey

An overnight brine called for in this recipe ensures that the meat stays moist throughout the cooking process, but it’s the feta and olives that give this stuffed turkey breast its bright flavor. Make your own Greek seasoning by mixing basil, dried oregano, marjoram, mint, and thyme.


½ cup kosher salt (for brine)

3 cups, packed fresh spinach

Greek Stuffed Gobbler Breast ingredients. Tess Rousey

Make a brine by whisking the salt and sugar into the hot water until they dissolve, then let the brine cool. Next, place the turkey breast in the cooled brine, then refrigerate and soak it overnight.

After the turkey breast sits overnight, remove it from the brine and butterfly it. Do this by setting the breast flat on a cutting board. Place a sharp knife parallel to the board and slice into the side of the breast. Continue cutting the breast in half, stopping about a ½ inch from the other side, so that the breast opens like a book. Place the butterflied breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it to an even ½-inch thickness.

Prepare the stuffing by heating the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, along with a pinch of kosher salt, and cook for 3 minutes. Then, add the spinach to the pan and cook until just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the feta cheese and olives, along with the Greek seasoning, remaining kosher salt, and black pepper.

Spread the spinach and feta stuffing in an even layer over the butterflied turkey breast, leaving a ½-inch edge around the meat. Starting with the short side of the breast, roll the turkey into a tight cylinder, tucking in the edges as you go. Secure the roll with butcher’s twine, tied at ½-inch intervals.

Grill or smoke the stuffed turkey until the thickest part of the meat reaches 155 degrees. Remove the turkey from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serves 4

2. Turk-Fil-A Sandwich

A Southern-inspired twist on fried turkey. Tess Rousey

In my opinion, the Southern fast-food chain’s chicken sandwiches, basic as they may be, owe their popularity to one thing: the pickle-juice marinade. The soak not only adds flavor, but plumps up the chicken—or, in this case, the turkey breast—leaving it moist and juicy, even after frying in hot oil.


3 cups peanut or canola oil

Turk-Fil-A Sandwiches ingredients. Tess Rousey

Cut the turkey breast crosswise into three to four pieces, then pound each piece into ½-inch-thick cutlets. Place the cutlets in a large bowl or zip-top bag and pour the pickle juice over. Refrigerate and let them marinate for at least one hour or, better yet, overnight.

When ready to fry the turkey, pour oil into a cast-iron Dutch oven or high-sided skillet until the oil is a couple inches deep. Set over a medium-high burner and let heat to 350 degrees.

Whisk milk and the eggs together in a bowl. Next, pour the flour in a shallow pan and whisk in the salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cayenne, dry mustard, and baking soda.

Remove the turkey cutlets from the brine and pat dry. Dip each cutlet in the milk-egg mixture, then immediately dredge them in the seasoned flour. Place on a wire rack and repeat with remaining cutlets.

When the oil is hot, fry the turkey cutlets until golden brown and cooked through, flipping once after 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer the fried turkey cutlets to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Meanwhile, butter the top and bottom halves of the hamburgers buns, then toast them on a hot skillet. Place two pickle chips on the bottom bun and top with a turkey cutlet. Cover with the top half of the bun and enjoy. Serves 4

3. Turkey-Leg Gumbo

The spicy, piquant flavor of this gumbo is worth the wait. Tess Rousey

Whether you’re simmering the stock or stirring the roux, making a good gumbo is a slow-paced affair. Add the extra time it takes to break down the tough meat of a wild-turkey leg and this recipe may take you all day. But trust me, its spicy, piquant flavor more than justifies the wait. Just be sure to have an ice-cold Abita on hand to cool the tongue afterward.


For the gumbo:

2 quarts of chicken stock

1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes

½ lb. andouille or smoked sausage, sliced ½ inch thick

Turkey-Leg Gumbo ingredients. Tess Rousey

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Salt turkey legs liberally.

Add the bacon grease to a large Dutch oven or heavy roaster set to medium-high. When the grease is hot, brown the turkey legs one at a time. Add the onion quarters to the roaster and enough water to submerge the meat a little more than halfway. Place the lid on the Dutch oven, or seal the roaster tightly with foil, and place it in the oven. Braise for 3 hours, or until the turkey-leg meat pulls easily from the bone.

Transfer the legs to a cutting board and strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids. Reserve the stock for the gumbo. Separate the meat from the tendons and shred it with a fork or fingers.

For the gumbo:

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add enough flour to make a thick paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux turns golden brown.

Add the celery, carrots, and onion, and cook until just tender. Pour in the reserved turkey stock and enough chicken stock to make 1 gallon, then stir in the canned tomatoes, cayenne, kosher salt, Worcestershire, and white pepper. Raise the heat to nearly boiling, then lower it to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes. Finish with the sliced sausage and turkey meat, and cook for another 15 minutes, until everything is hot. Serve with white rice and Tabasco sauce. Serves 4

4. Gobbler Empanadas

A wild take on the South American classic. Tess Rousey

Meat wrapped in dough is fan-favorite street food around the world, but in Argentina, empanadas are practically the national dish. This recipe replaces the usual Argentine beef with shredded turkey-thigh meat, but keep the traditional boiled eggs and green olives for an authentic, albeit wild, take on the South American classic.


6–8 green olives with pimentos, chopped

Gobbler Empanadas ingredients. Tess Rousey

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, in a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a light boil. Then, drop in the turkey thighs, along with the two bay leaves, and lower the heat to barely a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thighs reaches 155 degrees. Remove the thighs from the stock, let cool and, using your fingers, tear the meat into shreds.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet set over medium-high. Add the grated onion and sauté until soft. Stir in the tomato paste, along with the smoked paprika, cumin, kosher salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the chopped olives and pimentos, boiled eggs, and shredded turkey.

Lay the puff pastry sheet on a counter lightly dusted with flour. Using an upturned bowl, cut the sheet into 6-inch rounds. Place 1 to 2 Tbsp. of the empanada filling onto each round. Brush the edge of the pastry with egg wash and fold over. Seal the edges by pinching them together or crimping with a fork. Make a small slit in the top of each empanada, and brush it with the remaining egg wash. Arrange the empanadas on a baking sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Serves 4

5. Turkey–Tomato Sausage

Do not let grocery-store ground turkey turn you off to this old favorite. Tess Rousey

Grocery-store ground turkey gets a bad wrap as a poor alternative for beef, but making your own ground meat from a wild turkey’s legs and thighs is a great way to respect the resource. There’s a lot of meat on a bird’s lower half, and peeling the quarters off is simple. Admittedly, the toughest part is separating the meat from the many tendons on the drumsticks, but it is well worth the effort.


3 lb. ground turkey (leg and thigh meat)

1 8 oz. jar of sun-dried tomatoes, diced

¼ cup packed, chopped spinach

1 cup ice water, as needed

Turkey–Tomato Sausage ingredients. Tess Rousey

Combine the turkey and pork in a large tub. Whisk the dry ingredients together and distribute them evenly over the meat. Add the onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach, and mix everything together thoroughly. Grind the meat through the grinder’s coarse plate, followed by a second grind through the fine plate.

Using a meat mixer or your hands, mix the sausage thoroughly, adding ice water as needed, until the ground meat starts to get sticky and bind. You may need to add more water, a little at a time, until a fistful of meat squeezes through your fingers.

Rinse and soak the hog casings, following the directions on the package.

Load the meat into a sausage stuffer, or a grinder fitted with a stuffing tube, and stuff the meat into the hog casings. Measure the sausage into 6-inch lengths, twisting every other 6 inches to form links. Hang or place the links on racks in a refrigerator overnight to dry and to let the flavors develop.

Poach or grill the sausages to an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Serves 4

6. Tom Scallopini

Turkey breasts are perfect for pan-frying. Tess Rousey

When cut and pounded into thin medallions, turkey breasts are a natural for a light breading and panfry. Cultures around the globe have perfected this way of preparing chicken, veal, and, yes, even turkey, whether for schnitzel, piccata, or parma. But an Italian scallopini is tough to beat. If you’re lucky enough to have morels on hand, sub them in here, but any edible mushroom will do.


¼ cup Madeira or other dry cooking wine

Fresh thyme and parsley, chopped

Tom Scallopini ingredients. Tess Rousey

Make a brine by whisking the sugar and salt in hot water until dissolved. Let the brine cool. Place the turkey breast in the cooled brine, then refrigerate and soak overnight.

Cut the turkey breast crosswise into three to four pieces about inches thick. Wrap each piece of turkey in plastic wrap and use a meat mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy skillet to pound them into cutlets about ¼ inch thick.

Set a cast-iron skillet, or a heavy ovenproof skillet, over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the pan. On a shallow plate or pie pan, whisk the flour and salt and pepper to taste. Then, dredge the turkey in flour, shake off the excess, and place each piece in the hot pan. Cook, turning once every 8 minutes or so, until both sides are lightly browned. Cook in batches, adding more olive oil as necessary. Transfer the cutlets to a plate in a warm oven.

Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the pan, along with the garlic, mushrooms, and shallots. Stir and let cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the wine and stock to the pan. Raise the heat to a simmer, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the lemon juice and chopped herbs. Add the cutlets back into the pan, making sure they are covered in the liquid. Serve over cooked pasta and top with shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serves 4

7. Saffron-and-Yogurt Turkey Skewers

The exotic spice matches well with the smooth tang of Greek yogurt. Tess Rousey

The sweet grassiness of the world’s most exotic spice pairs perfectly with the smooth tang of Greek yogurt. As a bonus, the dairy’s enzymes help break down tough muscle fibers as the meat marinates overnight. If you don’t have saffron, a teaspoon of turmeric will do in pinch.


2 lb. turkey breast and thigh meat

1 small pinch saffron threads

Saffron-and-Yogurt Tom Skewers ingredients. Tess Rousey

In a medium bowl, crush the saffron and dissolve it into the hot water. Add the onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and yogurt. Whisk to blend well.

Cut the turkey breasts and thighs into 1-inch square chunks. Place the meat in a zip-top bag and pour the saffron-yogurt mixture over. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and refrigerate overnight.

Start a pile of charcoal briquettes, or pre-heat your propane grill to medium-high. As the grill heats, thread the turkey onto skewers. Oil the grill grates with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil, then place the skewers on the hot grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until the turkey is cooked through, for about 10 minutes. Serves 4

Grilling tip: The sugar in the yogurt can burn quickly and make a mess of your grill. Do as they do in the Middle East and suspend the skewers over the fire by placing each end on a brick.

Tips for Harvesting Tasty Turkey

My friend, Jim Spencer, who has eaten many more wild turkeys than I have, offered these tips for enjoying a tasty bird. First, avoid body-shooting your bird. This is good advice from a hunting standpoint, too, because the best way to kill a turkey is to shoot it in the head and neck. If stray pellets find their way into the body, remove them when you clean the bird, and remove feathers the shot forced into the meat. Trim bruised and bloodshot meat away as well.

Cool the bird quickly after the kill. To do this, hang it by one foot, allowing both wings and the untied foot to dangle. This spreads the turkey out and allows faster cooling. There's no need for field-dressing if you cool the bird quickly and keep it cool.

Some hunters skin the bird because it's quicker and easier. But if you plan to roast or smoke your turkey, it's best to pluck it. Leaving the skin on helps keep the meat moist during cooking. You can pour hot water over the bird to loosen the feathers and make plucking easier. Eviscerate the bird after it's plucked, and remove the head and feet. Then you're ready to cook.

The boneless breast meat of a wild
turkey can be used as the main
ingredient in a wide variety of delectable recipes.
Photo: courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation

Unlike many other game animals, which may be harvested in quantity, wild turkeys are rare commodities, with only one or two killed each season by lucky hunters. For this reason, the hunter typically wants to use a preparation method that makes the most of this delectable game bird. Fortunately, this can be accomplished without a lot of fuss and bother. Simple preparation methods can be used for whole plucked birds, or, if you prefer, you can use boneless fillets of breast meat in the entree and saves other parts of the bird for use in making dressing, soup or other dishes.

All the recipes that follow are easy to prepare without exotic ingredients or hard-to-follow directions. And each transforms wild turkey into a mouth-watering repast that will have your family or dinner guests asking for extra helpings. Try them and see.

1. Grilled Marinated Turkey Breasts

  • Boneless breast meat from one wild turkey
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Lawrey's Seasoning Salt
  • Adolph's Meat Tenderizer

Slice the breast meat lengthwise to create fillets that are about 1/2 inch thick. Make a marinade by combining the soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, honey and garlic in mixing bowl. Sprinkle the fillets with the seasoning salt and meat tenderizer, then transfer the meat to a zip-seal plastic freezer bag. Pour the marinade into the bag with the turkey and seal. Turn to coat all the pieces of meat, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the fillets from the marinade, drain and grill over a medium-hot fire for approximately 10 minutes per side or until done to taste.

2. Lemon-Herb Turkey Breast

  • 2 pounds boneless wild turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic

Mix all ingredients but the turkey. Pour the mixture over the turkey breast in a Crock-Pot and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, basting the turkey occasionally with the sauce.

3. Dijon-Breaded Turkey Breast

  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Boneless breast meat from one wild turkey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Mix together bread crumbs, sage, parsley, melted butter and half the salt. Season the turkey breasts with the remaining salt and the pepper, then brush them with the mustard and pat on the breading mix. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until done to taste.

4. Wild Turkey Parmigiano

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound boneless turkey breast fillets
  • 1 cup Italian-flavored tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow bowl, beat egg whites with water. In another shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip turkey pieces into egg mixture, then dredge in bread crumb mixture. Arrange the meat on a greased 10-inch x 15-inch baking pan. Bake 4 to 5 minutes. Pour tomato sauce evenly over the turkey and top with Mozzarella cheese. Bake 4 to 5 minutes more, or until turkey is cooked through, sauce is heated and cheese is melted.

5. Swiss Turkey Breast Over Rice

  • 2 large boneless turkey breasts, cut into three portions each
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese •1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk •1 (8-oz.) bag herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

Arrange turkey breasts in a lightly-greased, 3-quart baking dish. Top with cheese. Combine soup and milk in bowl. Spoon over cheese. Sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle butter on top. Cover, and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Serve over wild rice.

6. Turkey Breast and Gravy

  • 1 large (14"x20") oven bag
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 packages (7/8 ounce each) turkey gravy mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 to 8 pound wild turkey breast
  • Salt, black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shake flour in the oven bag place in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Add gravy mix and water to the bag, and squeeze the bag to blend. Season turkey breast with salt and pepper, and place in the bag. Place onions in the bag around the turkey.

Close the oven bag with a twist tie cut six 1/2-inch slits in top. Bake 1-1/4 to 2 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the breast reads 170 degrees. For easy slicing, allow the turkey to stand in the oven bag 10 minutes. Stir gravy before serving.

7. Butterflied Wild Turkey with Lime and Oregano

  • 1 wild turkey, plucked
  • 4 limes, cut into halves
  • 4 teaspoons oregano leaves
  • Salt, pepper

With poultry shears or a knife, split turkey lengthwise along one side of backbone. Pull turkey open place, skin side up, on a flat surface, and press firmly, cracking breastbone slightly, until bird lies reasonably flat. Rinse and pat dry. (At this point, you may cover and refrigerate until next day.) Before cooking, rub juice from 1 or 2 lime halves over turkey sprinkle with oregano, then lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Barbecue turkey by indirect heat, placing turkey, skin side up, on grill directly above drip pan. Cover barbecue and adjust dampers as necessary to maintain an even heat. Cook turkey until a meat thermometer inserted in the breast registers 170 degrees, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Every 30 minutes, squeeze 1 or 2 lime halves and rub over turkey.

Turkey Fried Rice Photo by Recipe.com

8. Turkey Fried Rice

  • 6 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Soy sauce, as needed
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked rice any type (white, brown, wild)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets

Heat wok. Add 2 teaspoons oil. Add pepper, onion, carrots and broccoli florets. Cook until crisp, yet tender. Remove, and set aside. Add 2 more teaspoons oil to wok. Add eggs, scramble, remove set aside. Add remaining oil. Add turkey breast, and stir-fry until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add soy sauce to taste. Return vegetables and eggs to wok. Add rice and additional soy sauce, as desired. Mix thoroughly and serve hot.

Watch the video: Πυροβολισμοί από άγνωστο κατά Τούρκων στον Πειραιά - Ήταν φυγάδες; (January 2022).