Spring turkey season is in full swing right now in the Northern states and winding up down South. Social media is flooded with photos of successful hunters bagging beautiful longbeards from virtually every state across the nation.
Many of the reports that I have been hearing and reading from the great white North to the deep South, was that the birds just did not act right this year and that the hunting was not what it usually is. Birds were not gobbling great and not reacting to calling as they usually do. I found my turkey season to follow along those same lines as well. It was a tough season here in Virginia, but I managed to fill my tags with three beautiful birds.
I usually donate my turkey capes to my local taxidermist, so I generally end up with just the breasts from my gobblers. Everyone generally has their favorite ways of preparing turkey, but you would be surprised how many folks can’t decide what or how to cook their birds, so here are two simple mouth-watering recipes for spring-time turkey breasts.
Ranch Fried Turkey Strips
1 turkey breast
2 packets of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
2 Cups Bisquick
Heat a deep fryer or skillet up with oil to 375 degrees. As the oil is heating, use a fillet knife and cut the silverskin (the whitish/silvery looking outer layer of the breast meat) off. Be sure not to take too much meat, you just want to slice that thin layer off. Once that is done, lay the breast flat on a cutting board and cut the turkey breast into half inch strips going against the grain of the meat.
Once the bird is cut into strips, it’s time for the batter. In a bowl, mix together two cups of Bisquick and two dry packets of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. Then, get another small bowl and scramble three to four eggs in it. Ensure the oil is hot enough to start frying. Once the oil is to temperature, take a turkey strip and coat it in the dry Bisquick-ranch combo, dip it in the egg wash and then back into the dry mix and drop it in the fryer. Cook the strips until they are golden brown. My favorite way to serve these delicious strips is on top of a fresh garden salad, complete with croutons, sliced hard boiled eggs and shredded cheese, topped off with a ranch salad dressing.
Jalapeno Stuffed Turkey Breast
1 Turkey breast
2 Jalapeno Peppers
1 8 Oz. Block of Cream Cheese
½ Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Lb. Bacon
Another simple recipe and one to make your mouth water, is a stuffed turkey breast. Follow the same procedure for taking the silverskin off of the breast using a fillet knife. Once that is done, lay the breast flat like you were going to butterfly it, but instead of truly butterflying it open, just create a deep pocket inside of the turkey breast, being careful not to cut all of the way through the breast. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Dice the jalapeno peppers into small pieces. I clean the seeds out of mine prior to dicing, but for those that like heat, feel free to keep the seeds in. Put the peppers into a mixing bowl.
Take four or five slices of bacon and cut it into little strips and fry it up, making bacon bits. Drain the bacon pieces. Add the cooked bacon pieces to the peppers along with the block of softened cream cheese and the ½ cup of shredded cheese. Mix this well, combining all of the ingredients. Once mixed, take the cheese mixture and stuff it into the pocket of the turkey breast. Once it is stuffed, wrap the breast with the remaining bacon slices. This will help to keep the cheese mixture inside of the bird while it is cooking. Place the bacon wrapped breast in a glass oven dish and bake on 375 degrees for an hour. Serve it with rice and vegetables of your choice.
One of the best things about harvesting your own wild game is the cooking aspect of it. I absolutely love to cook and enjoy creating and sharing new recipes for my fellow hunters to try. Enjoy these two simple recipes using the fruits of your hunting labor.