Making the Salt-Preserved Turkey or “Confit”-
2 ea. Thighs and Legs from Wild Turkey, bone in.
As Needed Kosher or sea salt
1 ea. Crumbled Bay leaf
6 ea. Chopped Juniper Berries
1 teas. Cracked black peppercorns
1 qt. Vegetable Oil or rendered fat from duck or geese
(Fat can be rendered by covering with water and simmering gently until all the water is evaporated, strain and cool till needed.)
One clove of minced garlic can be added if desired. This gives it a taste similar to corned beef.
If you don’t have juniper berries, a shot of gin will give a similar taste and the alcohol will dissipate during the cooking process.
Method for Confit
Pour a good amount of salt onto a large plate. Dredge the turkey pieces on all sides till thoroughly coated with the salt. Place pieces of turkey into a large glass or non-corrosive bowl, pan or container. Distribute the bay leaf, peppercorns and juniper berries over the turkey pieces.
Cover with plastic wrap and weight down with a plate, board or whatever clean item is handy. Place a stack of plates or additional weight on top. Refrigerate for 2-3 days (two days for a Jake or hen, 3 days for a larger gobbler). Turn and re-distribute the pieces after 1 day to insure even curing.
After curing, rinse the pieces off, dry and submerge in oil in a large pot. The oil should cover all of the turkey. Cook at the lowest possible simmer for 3-4 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove with tongs or slotted spoon, drain well and cool.
2 cups Cooked Wild turkey meat or Confit of wild turkey, chopped coarsely
2 cups Potatoes, cooked in skins till tender, peeled and chopped
1 cup Diced onions
1 Tbl Butter or oil
1/4 cup Chopped fresh, flat leaf parsley
½ teas. Fresh milled black or white pepper
1 teas. Colemans dry English Mustard
1/4 teas. Cayenne pepper
Saute the onion in butter or oil till tender without browning.
Combine cooked turkey, potato and onion in bowl with parsley, Cayenne, fresh milled black pepper and dry mustard. Mix well.
Divide into four equal portions and form into large patties.
Brown over low to medium heat in a little additional butter and turn to brown the other side warming thoroughly. Place on plates and keep warm in low oven while poaching eggs.
Serve with mushroom sauce.
Brown Mushroom Sauce
(This is a classic “Hunters” Sauce or Sauce “Chausseur”. It is also wonderful with Pheasant, Woodcock, Grouse, and Boar)
2 cups Slice or quartered button mushrooms or wild mushrooms of your choice
1/4 cup Minced shallots or white onion
2 Tbl Butter, melted
1 Tbl Tomato paste
1 teas. Chopped fresh tarragon or ½ teas. Dried tarragon leaves.
½ cup Dry White Wine
1 ea. Lemon, juice from
½ teas. Salt
1/4 teas. White pepper
2 cups Turkey Jus lie, thickened with arrowroot, roux or cornstarch.
Method for Mushroom sauce
Preheat a saute pan large enough to accommodate the mushrooms. Drizzle the melted butter over the sliced mushrooms and put them into the pre-heated pan. Saute till golden brown.
Add the lemon, salt, pepper and tarragon. Add the tomato, mix well and “Pince” or brown the tomato slightly.
Add the Jus Lie (thickened slightly, and by the way, it’s ok to use roux on this one!)
Simmer for five minutes, taste and adjust seasoning.
4 ea. Eggs, one per person or more if desired
1 qt. Boiling water
2 Tbl White Vinegar
1 teas. Salt
Method for Poached Eggs
The technique for making poached eggs is simple. Crack the eggs into a pot of simmering water seasoned with the vinegar and salt. The vinegar serves to help coagulate the whites which are protein rich and react with the acid from the vinegar. The vinegar and salt provide a seasoning profile which is a pleasant contrast with the rich egg yolk.
Cook the eggs until the whites turn solid white and are no longer translucent. About 3-4 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of each portion of Wild Turkey Hash.