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“Wild-Turkey Kabobs”: Jack Hennessy’s “Braising the Wild”

Jack Hennessy tackles wild-turkey kabobs in “Braising the Wild” in perfect timing for Independence Day celebrations.

“Wild-Turkey Kabobs” in “Braising the Wild”
Jack Hennessy

I take a certain delight in Jack Hennessy’s choice for “Braising the Wild” recipe for this week: “Wild-Turkey Kabobs.”

It is part of the expanded two pages of outdoors coverage in the Sports Saturday wrapper of the Sun-Times.

Here is the recipe:


In celebration of liberty, this coming week we will be lighting fires and packing grills for an explosion of flavor that will, ideally, put the evening fireworks display to shame.

I’d also suggest there’s no better moment than Independence Day to introduce guests to what was almost our national bird. With this recipe, chances are they will be unable to tell the difference between a wild gobbler and store-bought.

Kabobs are a staple of any serious grilling session and, most importantly, a perfect way to serve wild turkey. Often when grilling a wild turkey breast whole (some as big as your head), the exterior meat may dry out once the center is perfect. Cubed chunks are a perfect way to make sure wild turkey, far leaner than domestic, remains both succulent and flavorful.

Ingredients (serves 4):

24 ounces wild turkey breast, cut into 8- to 10-ounces pieces

Mix of bell peppers and red onion, cut into squares

Cherry tomatoes


1 gallon cold water

1/2 cup non-iodized salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup black peppercorns

1/2 bulb fresh garlic, smashed

8 ounces fresh ginger, smashed

To prepare:

Brine wild turkey breast, cut into smaller 8- to 10-ounce pieces, overnight.

Thoroughly rinse and cut into cubes (approximately 1-inch-by-1-inch).

Allow cubes to sit in fridge to air dry (drier raw meat equals better sear) while you cut your vegetables into large squares (again, approximately 1-inch-by-1-inch).

Salt and pepper vegetables SEPERATELY since meat is already salted from brine.

Skewer meat and vegetables, alternating between all ingredients.

Grill kabobs on a hot, clean grill until meat and vegetables are slightly charred (most certainly not burnt) on all sides. It’s been my experience once vegetables are crisp, meat is usually done. If unsure, probe with meat thermometer or place over indirect heat to finish.

Any questions? Contact me on Facebook: @BraisingTheWild or Instagram: @WildGameJack