What makes fried things even better?
Butter! Butter makes everything a little bit better. I have been on a burned butter kick lately. When I was a kid my mom used to make a dish she called “Burnt Butter” which I think is kind of the Greek answer to macaroni and cheese. Burn some butter, toss with cooked spaghetti, add parmesan, enjoy. It was pretty much my all-time-favorite-thing that she almost never made.
As of late, I will put burned butter on just about anything. Popcorn, a baked potato, steamed vegeatbles and… fried wild turkey. There really isn’t much to this recipe, it’s kind of your generic breaded-pan-fried thing. But for me, it was a big deal, because El Gallo was out of town so I had to butcher this bird myself.
I feel like I did a relatively adequate job, considering i’ve never actually butchered anything before.
I loosely got this recipe from a hunter friend of El Gallo’s who said fried wild turkey was the best thing ever in the world, and the best thing to do with wild turkey. The first time he told me this, he said the guy said to soak the bird in cream. When I asked again before making it, he said no it was not cream but buttermilk. Whatever. Honestly, had I realized that regular grocery store buttermilk is kind of a made-up thing full of ingredients I can’t pronounce I probably would have just bought cream. If you have access to real buttermilk (which is apparently the liquidy scuzz leftover after turning milk into butter) then do use that. Otherwise, the cheap stuff or cream will work just fine.
Fried wild turkey with burned butter
|Prep time||24 hours|
|Cook time||1 hour|
|Total time||25 hours|
- 1/2 Wild turkey (butchered, boned and cut into large cutlets (about 3 pounds at the end of the day))
- 1 quart buttermilk (Enough to cover)
- 2 cups all purpose flour or cornmeal (to dredge)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 cup canola or vegetable oil (enough for a few shallow fry batches)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- chives or parsley (to garnish)
- lemon wedges (to garnish)
- cayenne pepper to taste
|Butcher your bird (if necessary), skinning and deboning, and cut into strips or cutlets. You want your pieces to be somewhat small but no more than 1 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper, cover with buttermilk and let rest covered in the fridge over night.|
|When ready to fry, put about 1/8-1/4 inch of oil into a skillet and heat on medium. The oil should completely cover the bottom of the pan, and then some. Put the flour on a plate or dish and season with salt, pepper and cayenne (if using). Pull out a cutlet and kind of shake of excess buttermilk. Dredge completely in the flour mixture, making sure it's completely covered and then add it to the pan. Cook until the first side is nice and brown, then flip. (About 3-5 minutes per side).|
|While you are cooking the chicken, heat the butter over medium in a small saucepan and cook until it is a nice nutty brown. As it starts to brown, keep an eye on it.|
|Squeeze the turkey with lemon and sprinkle with chives, if desired, and serve with the burned butter for drizzling or dipping.|
Non-game substitution: Clearly chicken is the non-game meat here.