Wild Turkey Salad

Being on the go so often, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the freezer downstairs that’s full of meat when prepping meals. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t add extra work to cook a meal from scratch compared to swinging by the store for lunch meat or hot dogs but I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit that I’d take any of these meals over a plain old salami sandwich any day. And there’s something pretty darn magical about using the fruits of previous days afield to fuel new ones. Here is one of my simplest recipes to put together on a work night using some wild turkey I had in the freezer.

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Wild Turkey Po’ Boy

Up here in Ontario, we are among the last wild turkey habitats to get a proper spring. I’ve hunted turkeys in blizzards, and I’ve been out on the last weekend of May in a heavy coat and toque. Although we are building our own wild turkey tradition in the province, the traditions we are developing are built on the back of a greater historical legacy, one that is arguably rooted in the US South (apologies to Pennsylvania). All the yarns and tales of turkey hunting that I grew up reading were in the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It is a staple sandwich from that last state that my mind headed to when I pulled the trigger on my biggest tom turkey to date in early May of this year. I had been to New Orleans pre-Katrina and had fallen immediately in love with the people, the food, and city’s culture. I went once again in 2013 for a business engagement, and although things had changed in the Crescent City, po’ boy sandwiches had not. They remained everything that a sandwich should be: simple, portable, and packed with flavour.

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Wild Turkey & White Wine Porcini Fricassee

The next best thing to hunting a wild turkey is eating it. Wild turkey is a fantastic bird to both hunt and observe, and they are an absolute thrill to harvest. Anyone that has hunted turkeys long enough is likely to have more than one frustrating hunting experience, but when you are fortunate enough to fill your tag on a fired-up gobbler, all the frustration is worth it in the end. As we wind down after a long cold winter and begin looking forward to Spring, this take on a classic French dish is the perfect meal to bridge the gap between seasons and get us thinking about the turkey woods we love so much.

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