Wild Turkey Cutlets

Wild Turkey Cutlets With Creamed Morels, Fiddle Heads and Early Spring Asparagus Natural Jus Lie’

 

Serves four

 

 

For the Turkey Cutlets-

 

4 ea. 4-5 oz. ½ thick slices of the breast. Note-the narrow end cuts near the pointed end of the breast may be butterflied. Make a cut halfway thru, then the next cut all the way thru and slightly pound to flatten.

 

1.5 teas. Salt

1 teas. Fresh Sage leaves, minced finely. Or ½ teas. Dried rubbed sage

½ teas. Fresh Thyme leaves minced finely. Or substitute ½ teas. Dried thyme

3/4 cup All purpose flour

2 ea. Whole eggs

1 cup Milk

1.5 cup Dried breadcrumbs. Panko or Japanese white breadcrumbs are excellent.

 

1-cup Natural vegetable oil for shallow-frying

 

Method:

Season the turkey on both sides to taste. It is important to add enough salt and spices here. You may prefer a bit more than I’ve indicated. Allow your own diet restrictions and preferences direct you along with common sense for the amount of seasoning.

 

Mix the eggs and the milk with a fork or wire whip thoroughly. This is called egg-wash.

Organize two plates, one with the flour and one with the breadcrumbs, then put the bowl of egg wash between them. Bread the cutlets buy dredging first into the flour, coating but shaking off excess. Then into the egg wash, coating again. Finally dredge into the breadcrumbs and press slightly to adhere the crumbs to the cutlet. Place on plate or tray in a single layer.

 

At service time, heat the oil slightly in a cast iron skillet or saute-frying pan. Add the cutlets and allow to cook golden brown over medium heat, turn and lightly brown the other side. The heat must be moderate to allow the cutlet to cook inside properly. Conversely, don’t put them into a cool pan or the cutlets will absorb fat needlessly. The temperature of the fat in the pan should be about 325 degrees farenhieht.

Remove the cutlets and transfer to a bake sheet and keep warm until serving.

 

 

 

 

Morel Mushroom Stew

 

2 cups Fresh Morels, split in half, washed and drained well.

2 ea. Shallots minced finely or substitute 3 tablespoons minced onion

2 oz. Melted, unsalted butter

1 ea. Lemon, juice from

1 oz. Brandy or Cognac

1/4 cup Dry white wine

2 Tbl Madeira or Dry Sherry

1 cup Heavy cream or substitute unsweetened evaporated milk

1 ea Bay leaf

½ teas. Salt

1/4 teas. Ground white pepper, freshly milled if possible

Pinch Ground Nutmeg and Cayenne pepper

 

Method for the Stew

 

Preheat a skillet or saute pan large enough to accommodate the mushrooms in one even layer. When it is hot enough to provide a good sizzle, coat the mushrooms and introduce them to the hot pan. Two things are important here. First the pan has to be the right size and secondly the pan must be somewhat hot. This will allow the mushroom to saute and not just boil haphazardly without flavor. It is the light browning of mushrooms which will add significantly to the taste of the dish.

 

Saute the mushrooms for about 2 minutes and add the lemon juice, Brandy or Cognac and Wines.

Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Now if you’re quick on the draw, you can have ready a lighter or match and ignite the liquor in the pan to flambee’ . This of course is not necessary and it will only impress your guests if you avoid catching yourself on fire…careful here.

 

Add the bay leaf and cream or evaporated milk. Simmer, allowing the mixture to reduce slightly to thicken the cream and coat the mushrooms. Leave them somewhat creamy and try not to over reduce. If this happens, simply add a little water or stock to bring back to proper consistency. Remove the bay leaf and keep warm, covered for service.

 

At service time, spoon the Morel stew into the center of the plate, cut the turkey cutlets with a sharp knife and arrange on top of the stew with vegetables. Surround the cutlet and vegetables with a ribbon of Jus Lie’.

 

 

 

Asparagus-

1 dz. Medium sized asparagus spears, lightly peel the stems with a potato peeler.

1 qt. Boiling water with ½ teas. Salt added

1 teas. Whole unsalted butter

Taste Salt, ground white pepper and a pinch of cayenne

 

Peas

½. Small fresh sugar peas shelled or snap peas.

1 qt. Boiling water with ½ teas. Salt added

1 teas. Whole unsalted butter

Taste Salt, ground white pepper and a pinch of cayenne

 

Fiddle Head Fern Sprouts-

2 dz. Wild fern sprouts

1 qt. Boiling water with ½ teas. Salt added

1 teas. Whole unsalted butter

Taste Salt, ground white pepper and a pinch of cayenne

 

 

Method for the vegetables

 

The same pot of water may be used for the asparagus, peas and fiddle heads. Blanch each vegetable in rapidly boiling water for about 2-minutes, then shock or refresh in cold ice water. Drain and heat with butter and season at service time.

 

Note:

 

It is not absolutely necessary to blanch and shock vegetables. However, taking the time to do this does allow you to get things set up prior to service and “sets” the color of the vegetables keeping them a bright vibrant green color. When the chlorophyl breaks down the green color fades and looks unappetizing. This is why chefs will blanch and shock vegetables; it assures the guests will receive the food with perfect timing.

 

 

 

Note:

The Jus Lie’ (recipe follows) is the natural essence or juice from roasted bones made into stock with aromatics and reduced to slightly thicken. Lie’ means to slightly thicken and this also could be accomplished with the addition of a little starch solution, arrowroot or cornstarch works fine. Roux could also technically be used, but a sauce thickened with roux lacks the clarity and lightness which works so well with this dish. I do think the natural reduction is better and typically will not add any starch unless the stock is already very rich and glutenous and I want to avoid reducing and creating too heavy of a Jus Lie.

 

 

Turkey Jus Lie’

 

2-3 qt. Chopped bones, trimmings, sinew, cartilage from wild turkey carcass

2 Tbsp Oil or Butter

1 teas Salt

½ lb. Carrots, split and cut in 1″ pieces

½ lb. Parsnips, split and cut in 1″ pieces

4 ea. Stalks of celery, cut in 1″ pieces

2 cups Coarsely chopped onion

 

 

1/4 cup Tomato Paste or 1 cup fresh tomato, seeded and chopped coarse

1 cup Dry white wine

1 ea. Lemon (juice from)

 

1 ea. Sachet. (Small piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter with 1 Tbs black peppercorns, 3 Sprigs of thyme, 2 .Bay leaves and ½ cup Flat leaf parsley and stems)

 

 

 

 

 

Method for Jus Lie’

 

 

Place bones and trimming In large roast pan with oil or butter. Lightly season with salt.

Roast @ 350 degrees F, till nicely browned all over. Stir occasionally to maximize browning on every surface area of the bones and trim. The bones should start to brulee’ or scorch around the edges-in other words very well browned.

Add the vegetables and stir well. Brown again, caramelizing the vegetables.

De -glaze with the wine and add the tomato. Brown again. This stage is called “Pince” in French and it simply means to brown the tomato product. Careful here as the tomato will brown more quickly than the bones or vegetables in the first stages or the preparation.

Add enough water to just cover the bones and other ingredients.

Simmer for 4-6 hours gently and then strain.

Reduce the stock to one fourth its original volume, taste, adjust salt and add lemon.

This should yield about a quart of rich Jus. You can reduce it further to concentrate the flavor or thicken slightly with a tablespoon of powdered arrowroot dissolved in a couple tablespoons of cold water. Add this to the simmering Jus and cook for ten minutes additional.

 

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