Garlic Herb Wild Turkey Breasts
by Chelsea Walters
After harvesting my first whitetail deer in 2012, I found myself experimenting more and more to find as many ways to use the meat as possible. I enjoyed trying new recipes, flavors and combinations. I started feeling a little bit like Bubba from Forrest Gump, “Venison Chili, Venison Stew, Venison Burgers, Venison Steak. . .” This spring, I had the opportunity to try something new - a wild turkey hunt in eastern North Carolina.
This was going to be a special hunt for me. My grandfather, who lived and breathed turkey hunting, passed away a year and a half ago. Not long before he got sick, he gave me his favorite shotgun to use for myself and it was going with me on this trip.
The morning of the hunt was uneventful and I started to doubt that we would even see a turkey. That afternoon, we clucked and cut and got no response. Suddenly, we heard a soft, faint gobble in the distance. We stealthily worked our way through the trees to gain a better vantage point and set up under some hanging branches.
We continued calling the bird with the gobbles getting closer and closer each time. Finally, after nearly 2 hours of working the bird, out ran a tom followed by 2 jakes. I lined it up and pulled the trigger. The tom didn’t go down, so I shot again and we lost sight of him.
After 10 minutes of looking, my husband called me from across the field. I walked over to find my friend with the bird hanging over his shoulder!
Now that I’ve experienced first-hand the excitement of turkey hunting (and will definitely be going again), I want to find healthy and budget-friendly ways to prepare it. The recipe below is a simple, fresh-tasting take on wild turkey breast. It makes the whole house smell good and is husband approved. I paired it with garlic parmesan sautéed zucchini and served it on a bed of rice.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Wild Turkey Breast
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tsp. Dried Thyme or 1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
1 Tsp. Dried Rosemary or 1 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
1 Tsp. Dried Sage or 1 Tbsp. Fresh Sage
1 Tsp. Sale
½ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Rinse the turkey and pat dry.
Tenderize the turkey with a meat tenderizer, mallet, or by putting the breast in a large zip lock bag and rolling over it with a rolling pin.
Combine the olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and rub the mixture on the turkey.
Place the turkey in a roasting pan or baking sheet.
Bake the turkey for 45 minutes – one hour (or until turkey reaches an internal
temperature of 165 degrees).
Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice with a side of garlic parmesan zucchini (see recipe below).
Garlic Parmesan Zucchini
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
½ Tsp. Minced Garlic
3 Large Zucchini, Thinly Sliced
½ Tsp. Sale
¼ Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the squash, salt and pepper. Cook until the squash is tender, about 5 minutes.
Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.