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Field To Table: Wild Turkey Dinner

Elevate Your Turkey Day

Of all the game animals we take, very few of them go into the freezer whole and spend months waiting for the perfect opportunity to shine on the dinner table. The spring turkey, however, is just such a game animal. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about how that big old long beard is going to impress your family. We are here to help.

Thanksgiving dinner is a big undertaking, and this recipe goes through a couple different parts of a complete meal, but you will still need to have grandma put down her glass of sherry to make her famous gravy.

It's simple really... roast slow, don't overcook it, and add some good flavoring and fat. The magic in this recipe is the butter basting. As the turkey is finishing and resting, it's absorbing delicious brown butter infused with garlic and herbs. Lastly, turkey legs and turkey breasts cook very differently, so for best results we will cook them separately. Trust us, it's worth the extra effort.



Ingredients:

Servings depends on the size of your turkey

Sage Sausage Stuffed Turkey Thighs

  • 2 Boneless turkey thighs
  • 10oz Pork sausage (Original Johnsonville’s works great!)
  • 10 leaves Sage, roughly chopped
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper

Stuffing

  • 1 loaf Sourdough bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Celery stick, diced
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 Tbsp Butter + more for the baking dish
  • 1½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • ½ Cup White Wine
  • 1½ Cup Raisins & Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Cups Turkey or chicken stock
  • 3 Sprigs Rosemary, removed from stem and chopped
  • ½ oz Thyme, roughly chopped

Butter Roasted Turkey Breast

  • 1 Turkey breast, wings and backbone removed (keep these for stock/gravy)
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, smashed with the skins on
  • Salt & pepper

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Turkey Breast

  1. Season the turkey breast on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Set the breast skin side up on a roasting pan and cover the entire breast with aluminum foil with the shiny side down.
  3. Roast in a 325°F oven until the internal temperature reaches 135°F.
  4. Remove the foil and roast at 375°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
  5. Add the butter, garlic cloves and half the chopped herbs from the stuffing to the roasting pan and use a large metal spoon to baste the turkey for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Continue to roast and baste until the internal temperature reaches 150°F.
  7. Allow the turkey to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes and continue to baste it every couple of minutes. During this time the carry over cooking will take it over 160°F, if it doesn’t, return it to the oven and baste until it reads 160°F.
  8. Carve the lobes off the breast bone and slice against the grain.

Turkey Thighs

  1. Mix the sausage and chopped sage together in a bowl.
  2. Cut the turkey thighs so they are an even thickness.
  3. Place a turkey thigh skin side down on the cutting board and place half the sausage along the length of the thigh.
  4. Roll the thigh into a cylinder and tie with butchers twine.
  5. Lay down a sheet of aluminum foil and butter the surface.
  6. Place the stuffed turkey thigh on the aluminum foil and season all sides with salt and pepper.
  7. Roll the foil around the thigh sealing it up.
  8. Repeat with the second thigh.
  9. Roast the thighs in a 325°F oven until they reach an internal temperature of 140°F.
  10. Crisp up the skin and allow to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Stuffing

  1. Tear the sourdough loaf into bite-sized pieces and toast in a 325°F oven until crisp and just turning golden brown.
  2. In a large pan over medium heat, add the butter, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add the dried fruit.
  4. Reduce the liquid down to a couple ounces in the pan and remove from the heat.
  5. Whisk the stock and eggs together in a bowl.
  6. In a larger bowl, combine the toasted bread, cooked vegetables, liquid, the remaining half of the herbs, and the seasoning.
  7. Mix the stuffing well and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. If some of the bread still feels dry, add a touch more stock until everything is moist.
  8. Butter a 2-3” inch deep baking dish and lay the stuffing in a single layer. An un-even surface results in nice crisp texture and good color.
  9. Baked the stuffing in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until feels firm to the touch.

In the video, the stuffing was baked with aluminum foil, this was done to prevent it from browning too fast in the wood fired oven. For a conventional oven the aluminum foil is not necessary.

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