Editor’s Note: Tiffany Haugen is a full-time cookbook author and recipe developer. Along with contributing recipes to our Game & Fish print edition, she’s also the nation’s leading wild game cooking columnist, and appears regularly on Trijcon’s The Hunt, on the Sportsman Channel. She’ll also be making guest appearances on Scott Leysath’s, The Sporting Chef, coming to the Sportsman Channel January 2014.
Here’s a note from Tiffany Haugen about Thanksgiving cooking:
While many folks are pre-ordering organic, free-range turkeys from a local farm or butcher, or simply picking up a frozen bird from the grocery store, those of us who hunt have more options for our Thanksgiving table. Just a peek into my freezer this time of the year may reveal a few wild turkeys, pheasant, grouse, quail, pigeons, doves and a variety of waterfowl.
There is great joy in planning Thanksgiving and wild turkey recipes around what fall’s great harvest has provided for our family. From the appetizers to the main course to leftovers, there’s room for game birds in every holiday menu.
Only a few pheasant in the freezer? Try Pheasant Musubi so everyone can get a taste of that delectable game bird. Want to fire up the grill and plank cook that wild turkey breast? Be sure to put the legs and thighs in the crock pot to slow cook for some super tender burrito filling. Looking for a little “wow” factor as a centerpiece? Try deep frying your wild turkey or putting several game birds together for Turkpheasquail. Maybe easy and convenient is on the menu? Go for Wine Bagged Grouse and let the oven roasting bag do the work for you. Time to fire up the smoker? Wild Turkey jerky is a great, healthy snack for the football fanatics at your house.
When planning those Thanksgiving recipes, don’t overlook what you can go out and hunt or find in your own freezer.
These are some of the tastiest fall and Thanksgiving recipes from Tiffany and some of your favorite hosts from the Sportsman Channel. Time to get cooking!
- 1 whole turkey, cleaned & dressed (skin on)
4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
5 gallons peanut oil (see note)
Long handled tongs
Deep-fry or candy thermometer
Weigh turkey to determine deep-frying time. Dry turkey thoroughly with a clean dish towel and coat with 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning. Pour peanut oil into a 10 gallon pot. On a propane cooker, bring oil to 375º. Using long handled tongs, carefully submerge turkey in the hot oil. Fry for 4 minutes per pound or until internal thermometer reads 150º-160º. Remove turkey from hot oil and place on a carving surface. Sprinkle with remaining Cajun seasoning and cover with foil. Let sit 15-20 minutes before carving.
Note: To determine exactly how much oil is needed, fill frying pot with water first. Place unseasoned turkey in a clean plastic trash bag. Immerse bag in water letting excess water spill over the edges. Remove water 4”-5” below the pot. Lift turkey out of the water and note the water level. Discard water and thoroughly dry pot. Fill pot with oil to the last water level noted; that’s the amount of oil needed to cook your bird with.
Recipe by Tiffany Haugen
You can buy Tiffany and Scott Haugen’s “Cooking Game Birds” cookbook online.
For even more wild game recipes like elk chili and dove sticks, check out our game-grilling recipes on Game & Fish! While you eat, be sure to tune in to all of your favorite programming on the Sportsman Channel. And starting voting in the Sportsman Choice Awards starting December 1!