A Recipe for Corned Wild Turkey Breast

A Recipe for Corned Wild Turkey Breast

Served with a side of charred cabbage, this riff on a classic spring dish is a gobbler game-changer

This turkey isn’t technically “corned,” or preserved, but a three-​day steep in a pickling-spice-infused brine gives it the unmistakable tang of corned beef, that springtime staple. The ­ultra-​­gentle poaching technique—​cooking the meat at less than a simmer—​yields lush, juicy turkey breast, with just a blush of pink at the center. With a crispy, smoky finish, the charred vegetable amps up the springtime feel. Adapted from a recipe by the ­Sicilian-​born chef Christian Puglisi, this slightly crazy method of cookery treats cabbage like a steak, producing a seared, flavorful edge and a tender center. Carrots with parsley or roasted potatoes would nicely round out this dish.

Ingredients | Serves 4

For the Corned Turkey

  • 1 boneless, skinned wild turkey breast half (2 to 31⁄2 lb.)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves, torn into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. celery seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1⁄2 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1⁄2 small shallot, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄8 tsp. liquid smoke

For the Cabbage

  • 1⁄2 head of cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make Corned Wild Turkey Breast

4CECWFRR3how7vDmez3FwZ
Seasoned Soak Brine the turkey in a bowl or sealable bag for three days. Christina Holmes
  • Make the pickling spice: ­Combine the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander, celery, fennel, ­juniper, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and thyme in a small bowl, and use your fingers or a fork to mix the spices evenly.
  • Make the brine: Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the 1⁄2 cup salt, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and 2 tablespoons of the pickling spice. (You’ll have some left over.) Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve, then allow the mixture to cool fully. Once it’s cooled, place the turkey breast and the brine in a sealable plastic bag. (The bones can puncture a bag, so double-bagging—or keeping the bag inside a bowl—is recommended.) Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for three to four days, turning the bag daily.

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water, brushing off most of the spice mix. Slide the turkey into the pot, and turn the heat to its lowest setting. You want the meat to cook at less than a simmer, just a very gentle poach. Cover and check the meat with an instant-read thermometer after 45 minutes. When the thermometer reads 150 degrees at the thickest part, transfer the breast to a cutting board.

  • While the turkey is poaching, make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the mustard, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, and the shallot in a small bowl. Whisking all the while, drizzle the olive oil into the bowl until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Stir in the liquid smoke, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

  • Char the cabbage: Set a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the oil, and then add the cabbage half, cut-side down. Sear the cabbage, without disturbing it, for about 13 minutes. (If you have a vent hood, turn it on; the cabbage will smoke.)

You’re looking for a profoundly blackened surface, so don’t worry about burning it. Turn the cabbage over and reduce the heat to ­medium-​low. After a few minutes, add the butter. Once it’s melted, use a spoon to baste the blackened side of the cabbage with it, tilting the pan to get as much butter as possible. Cook this way, basting every few minutes or so, for a total of 15 to 20 minutes, or until there’s little resistance when you pierce the cabbage with a knife or skewer. Turn off the heat. Baste the cabbage with any butter remaining in the pan, then sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of vinegar over the top. Salt and pepper generously.

To serve, slice the corned turkey breast and fan the slices on four plates. Divide the cabbage into four wedges, and lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over the cabbage and the turkey breast. Serves 4

Written by Jonathon Miles for Field & Stream and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Field & Stream

How To Cook Venison Carbonnade

How To Cook Venison Carbonnade

Ingredients

  • 3 lb. venison stew meat, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz. Belgian dark strong ale or other dark flavorful beer
  • 1 cup (or more) chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butter and bacon, and cook until barely crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving for later. Dry the venison with paper towels, then salt and pepper generously. Add the meat to the pot, in batches to avoid overcrowding, and raise the heat to high. Sear the meat well on all sides, then remove to a plate.

  • Add the onions and brown sugar to the pot or Dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and caramelized, with a deep golden-brown color. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

  • Raise the heat to medium-high. Pour in the beer and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge any tasty brown bits. Bring to a boil, then add the reserved bacon and the meat along with any accumulated juices. Add the chicken stock (you may need more than a cup to cover the meat), bay leaf, and thyme, and bring to a low simmer. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.

  • Before serving, uncover and raise the heat to medium to bring the stew to a fast simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the liquids are reduced to a saucelike consistency. Stir in the vinegar or lemon juice, and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve the stew over buttered egg noodles or dumplings, if desired, topping each bowl with a sprinkling of parsley.

Written by Jonathan Miles for Field & Stream and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Featured image provided by Field & Stream