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Turkey Shortage?

Have you ever had a shortage of game meat in the house? Well, that's a problem for a professional chef who is constantly trying new recipes, testing other people's recipes, cooking for guests and writing cookbooks. When I run out of meat, I look to my gunning buddies for support. 

Beards & Spurs Turkey Magazine

Published in Beards & Spurs Turkey Magazine, 2000

 

"Out of meat?" they say. "No problem. What do you need? I've got elk, venison, duck and quail." When I say turkey, I am either confronted with silence or "Well now, turkey...I've only got one of those, and I was saving that for a special occasion." I have no problem getting antelope, caribou, goose or pheasant, but there always seems to b a shortage of wild turkey. No one wants to give up their turkey - some of the best tasting meat available.

Most hunters measure a trophy bird by the length of its beard and spurs, sometimes by it's weight. I measure by how good it  tastes. Last spring, I cooked at  the Terra Rosa Ranch in McLean, Texas, during a turkey hunt. Bryce Towsley harvested a nice gobbler, and a real trophy in my book. Good shot placement resulted in 100 percent yield. We removed the breast after aging it for two days, sliced it into medallions and sauteed it. This culminated into some of the most tender turkey I've ever tasted and cooked. We served it with fresh asparagus, garlic smashed red potatoes and a cranberry port wine sauce. What a feast!

The key to  tenderness and  outstanding flavor is the  freshness of the ingredients. When you combine freshness with the proper cooking techniques, you end up with an outstanding, tender and tasty product.

Try to utilize the freshest meats and ingredients. I can't emphasize the difference that freshness makes in the quality and taste of the finished product. When an item is frozen, the composition of the meat changes. The freezing process removes the moisture from the food, causing a tougher, less flavorful product. An example of this is to take a piece of fish, pat it dry, seal in an airtight bag and place it in the freezer. One month later, you will find fish and ice in the bag. The freezing process removed the water from the fish, but could not get it through the plastic.  

This moisture is essential to tenderness, taste and texture. We all have to deal with freezing, but this recipe is extra tasty and tender because you use fresh turkey. Fresh turkey can be substituted for any veal recipe, such as Veal Blanquette (a white veal stew), Veal Scaloppine Marsala or Veal Scalloppine Zingara.

Good Cooking and Great Hunting,

Chef Albert Wutsch 

 

 Originally printed in The Buckmasters Turkey Hunting Magazine, Beards & Spurs, 2000. Visit venisoncache.com for more recipes and to order my books, "The Art Of Cooking Venison", "The Art of Barbecuing and Grilling Game"  and the dvd, "The Art of Backyard Butchering".