While many folks are pre-ordering organic, free-range turkeys from a local farm or butcher, or simply picking up a frozen bird from the grocery store, those of us who hunt have more options for our Thanksgiving table. Just a peek into my freezer this time of the year may reveal a few wild turkeys, pheasant, grouse, quail, pigeons, doves and a variety of waterfowl.
There is great joy in planning Thanksgiving and wild turkey recipes around what fall’s great harvest has provided for our family. From the appetizers to the main course to leftovers, there’s room for game birds in every holiday menu.
Only a few pheasant in the freezer? Try Pheasant Musubi so everyone can get a taste of that delectable game bird. Want to fire up the grill and plank cook that wild turkey breast? Be sure to put the legs and thighs in the crock pot to slow cook for some super tender burrito filling. Looking for a little “wow” factor as a centerpiece? Try deep frying your wild turkey or putting several game birds together for Turkpheasquail. Maybe easy and convenient is on the menu? Go for Wine Bagged Grouse and let the oven roasting bag do the work for you. Time to fire up the smoker? Wild Turkey jerky is a great, healthy snack for the football fanatics at your house.
When planning those Thanksgiving recipes, don’t overlook what you can go out and hunt or find in your own freezer.
These are some of the tastiest fall and Thanksgiving recipes from Tiffany and some of your favorite hosts from the Sportsman Channel. Time to get cooking!
Deep Fried Wild Turkey
1 whole turkey, cleaned & dressed (skin on) 4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning 5 gallons peanut oil (see note) Long handled tongs Deep-fry or candy thermometer
Weigh turkey to determine deep-frying time. Dry turkey thoroughly with a clean dish towel and coat with 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning. Pour peanut oil into a 10 gallon pot. On a propane cooker, bring oil to 375º. Using long handled tongs, carefully submerge turkey in the hot oil. Fry for 4 minutes per pound or until internal thermometer reads 150º-160º. Remove turkey from hot oil and place on a carving surface. Sprinkle with remaining Cajun seasoning and cover with foil. Let sit 15-20 minutes before carving.
Note: To determine exactly how much oil is needed, fill frying pot with water first. Place unseasoned turkey in a clean plastic trash bag. Immerse bag in water letting excess water spill over the edges. Remove water 4”-5” below the pot. Lift turkey out of the water and note the water level. Discard water and thoroughly dry pot. Fill pot with oil to the last water level noted; that’s the amount of oil needed to cook your bird with.
Recipe by Tiffany Haugen
BBQ Brined Pigeon
Note:Brining birds hydrates the cells of the meat, infusing flavor and tenderness. Brining is the first step when smoking birds but brining before cooking can be just as beneficial. The birds in this recipe can be roasted or finished in a slow cooker.
4-5 pigeon, dressed 1/4 cup butter, softened BBQ Brine: 1 quart water 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon granulated onion 1 teaspoon liquid smoke 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
In a large bowl, whisk brine ingredients until salt is dissolved. Place birds in brine so they are completely covered. Birds and brine can also be placed in a large sealable baggie. Refrigerate 8-12 hours, turning birds at least once during this process.
Remove birds from brine and empty all cavities of liquid. Discard brine, do not rinse birds. Place birds on a rack to air-dry, 15-30 minutes. Coat birds liberally with butter and place breast-down in a casserole pan. (If using a slow cooker, put birds in and cook 3-4 hours on high.) Roast in a preheated, 400º oven, 15-20 minutes. Turn birds breast-side up, brush with additional butter, if desired. Roast an additional 10 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 150º-160º.
Recipe by Tiffany Haugen
Heavy rain and mountain snow will pound the northwestern United States early this week, with the most significant impacts targeting Northern California.
Southern California bore the brunt of the latest storm to blast into the western United States on Friday.
Less than a week after tornadoes tore through parts of Houston and New Orleans, a new threat of flooding and locally severe thunderstorms will return into Monday.
The taste of spring across the United Kingdom will peak on Monday before the threat for windstorms returns.
A stormy weather pattern unfolding across Europe this week will lead to showers and gusty winds sweeping into Germany on a daily basis.
A tropical low will threaten coastal communities around the Gulf of Carpentaria with flooding downpours through early this week.
One of the biggest storms in years bombarded Southern California with heavy rain and gusty winds to end the week.
On Friday afternoon, the Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which may start a new era for the environmental policy of the United States.