Advice needed on cooking wild turkey please

minn1, Dec 20, 12:45am
I have a turkey in the freezer for Christmas Day, but I'v only ever cooked one once-38 years ago when I was a teenager,NO idea how it turned out lol! I am just not too sure about stuffings etc,and best methods of cooking. Have been trolling through recipes and see a few have orange etc in the mix, but think that might be more for commercially breed ones,and that it might be a bit much for a gammy-er tasting wild bird. A real rookie here,so any tried and tested ideas would be VERY gratefully welcomed. How do I keep it moist, what should I 'flavour' it with,which method has been best for a wild bird etc. It's about 4.5 kilos I think.When should I start thawing it in the fridge..?....gee,it's all starting a bit of a risk to be at my houise for christmas dinner,doesn't it?Got the in-laws etc coming,oh help :)


davidt4, Dec 20, 1:16am
If it's a wild turkey it is likely to be dry and tough.I would think about stuffing and trussing it then poaching it in stock at a simmer for about six hours.Then brown the skin by brushing it with butter and roasting in a hot oven for about 45 min.

You could also consider roasting it in a very low oven overnight, but you would need to add some liquid to the pan and cover it to prevent it from drying out.

As for the stuffing, make a very moist buttery one from fresh breadcrumbs, sauteed onion and apple, fresh parsley, thyme, sage and rosemary, salt and pepper.Moisten with stock or white wine.

minn1, Dec 20, 2:58am
many thanks davidt4,okay, I hadnt thought about poaching it...will think about that if it will fit into my perserving pot. Maybe I could do the poaching the day before and pop it into the fridge overnight and put it in the oven to brown up etc Christmas morning...??.Have heard about a method where the bird is in a covered oven dish surrounded by tea..?has anyone tried that?? Lid taken off in last while,to brownup etc. Yes, usually make a bread and cooked onion type stuffing, wondered about dried apricots etc, like the sound of the apple, thanks. Any more tried and true advice??

silvertiger7, Dec 20, 4:59am
I used to cook a few wild turkeys and a chef advised me to do this: Soak the bird overnight in a sink full of cold water with 2 cups of vinegar added. This will lighten the meat and remove any gamey taste. Dry with paper towels. Stuff the bird - sausage meat, walnuts and prunes is good as it keeps it moist from inside. Melt 450g butter in a saucepan and add one bottle of white wine. Wrap the bird entirely in cheesecloth and place in roasting pan. Pour enough wine/butter over to saturate the cloth and bake slowly, basting with the remaining butter and wine at half hour intervals until done.Remove the cheesecloth and brown gently. This is never tough and tastes great too.

silvertiger7, Dec 20, 6:07am
Hehe. In the second to last sentence, I mean brown the turkey gently, not the cheesecloth.

minn1, Dec 20, 8:25am
Oh wow silvertiger,that sounds VERY interesting!! (And yes, removing the cheesecloth and popping it in a frying pan perhaps to brown up nicely DOES sound hilirious....!! :D ) Am out in the sticks, so dont have any cheesecloth...am wondering if this it pre roasting bags/aluminium foil days do you think???? Along with the brown paper bag thing I remember doing when I cooked my one and only one all those years ago..... Have read somewhere else about soaking it overnight, but it was from someone in the Northern Hemisphere, not got the prob of heat and humidity, and so I didnt really think about it too much..but if you'v done it, then thats very interesting. They hadnt said WHY it was done, so it's great that you'v explained, thanks!Stuffing sounds worth considering too,if it will keep the bird moist. All so very helpful, am considering all advise, and seeing what will work best with what I'v got etc. thank you thank you for tips and ideas :)

Share this thread

Buy me a coffee :)Buy me a coffee :)