Jack Hennessy’s latest recipe for “Braising the Wild” makes me wish I was better at turkey hunting.
As always, he includes some general tips on handling wild game and I learned something new, this week about Guajillo chile powder.
Here’s the recipe:
WILD TURKEY FAJITA TACOS
Perhaps, like me during this time of year, when the freezer is running low and hunting season is still weeks away, you save your wild game for special occasions, or special guests. Yet, when they arrive, there is the added pressure to make it perfect.
One of the biggest risks when cooking wild turkey is over-cooking it. It doesn’t have the fat of store-bought turkey so extra care is required. Oftentimes, when you cook that whole breast from a spring tom (yeah, the one the size of your head), once the center is fully cooked, the outer layers are dry like cardboard.
I am a big fan of butchering larger cuts of lean wild birds into smaller pieces. I shared my kabob recipe weeks ago, but here is an easy taco recipe that employs a similar concept and is both flavorful and juicy with each bite.
Ingredients (make two servings):
8 to 10 ounces wild turkey breast
Half medium yellow onion, cut julienne
Half green bell pepper, cut julienne
Half red bell pepper, cut julienne
Six 6-inch corn tortillas
Guajillo chile powder
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 gallon cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup non-iodized salt
1/2 cup whole black peppercorns
Half bulb of garlic, smashed
5 ounces fresh ginger, smashed
Brine wild turkey breast overnight (no more than 12 hours) then rinse thoroughly under cold water.
Cut into small cubes (no larger than half-inch on any side) and dust all sides with Guajillo chile powder, place in refrigerator to dry for couple hours.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat a thin layer of sunflower oil on medium until 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry corn tortillas on both sides until golden-brown and place on napkin-covered plate to dry.
In same skillet, after done frying corn tortillas, heat skillet to medium-high and add more sunflower oil if necessary to maintain thin layer of oil in skillet.
Add onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper (all cut julienne) and lightly dust with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Sauté until slightly charred and slightly soft. Remove and set aside.
In same skillet, add a little more sunflower oil so a thin layer remains then add cubed wild turkey.
Flash sear all sides as it will cook quickly.
Place cooked wild turkey on corn tortillas, top with sautéed vegetables and sour cream.