Let’s Talk Turkey!

Our kids are interesting people. They are smart and independent and loving and generous people. We like to believe that we have provided them with an environment where we not only modeled good behavior, but also where they have felt safe and encouraged to try new things.

We have a saying in our family. When something new or unexpected happens, we refer to it as having an adventure. Our kids have had interesting adventures. Most of them have been good adventures – thankfully! Some of their adventures have been because they were willing to try new things and have resulted in them having hobbies that are dramatically different from ones we have.

Katy Mothers Day 2013

One of our babies went to a college where a lot of kids come from small towns and the country where outdoor activities like hunting is common for both girls and boys. So it wasn’t surprising that she learned how to shoot a compound bow and has shot guns and gone hunting. Her willingness to try new things, to have new adventures has turned into a hobby.

Katy with turkey April 2014 2

She recently went turkey hunting and look what happened! She shot a wild turkey! This darn bird is almost as big as she is!

I’ve always wanted to try cooking and eating wild turkey. I’ve cooked venison and love deer sausage and jerky. I’ve cooked pheasant. I’ve cooked freshly caught fish. I’m willing to try cooking just about anything – so long as the hunters bring the game to me cleaned and ready to go.

Katy with turkey April 2014 4

This bird looks huge, but it was a jake which is a juvenile male turkey. If you want to know more about wild turkeys here is a link to the page about wild turkeys on the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) website.

Smoked Wild Turkey (1)

Thankfully, the bird was prepared and cleaned, and I received the breast and thighs which weighed a total of about 6 pounds. After a lot of research, I decided to cook the turkey in the smoker using cherry wood. First, I brined the meat overnight. I wrapped the pieces in bacon since it came to me with no skin. This was to ensure that the meat was moist after cooking. In addition to the breast and thighs the heart was included. I put the breast on first and added the smaller pieces about an hour before the breast was done.

Smoked Wild Turkey (2)

Here is the breast when it was done cooking. I was surprised at how white the breast meat was and how dark the thigh meat was. The meat was moist and good and much more dense than the domestic turkey we are used to eating. It did not taste funny at all, and it didn’t taste like chicken either. I guess not everything we aren’t used to eating tastes like chicken after all!

Her next goal is to get a deer, and I’m already looking forward to many meals made with venison.

We love that our baby has developed this hobby and is having interesting and new and different adventures. And we loved tasting the results of her efforts, too!

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