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Wild Game Cooking

BBQ Turkey Legs Recipe – Barbecued Wild Turkey Thighs

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Slow smoked BBQ turkey legs are a great way to eat that part of the bird, whether it’s a wild turkey or farmed. Here’s how to go about getting the most out of these underrated cuts.

Mostly when I talk about BBQ turkey legs I am referring to the thighs, but the drumsticks benefit from this process, too.

The reason is because the thighs only have the one bone in them, and none of those crazy tendons and ligaments that the drumsticks have — and those will never break down, especially on the barbecue.

What follows here are tips and tricks on cooking better BBQ turkey legs, and on how to use them.

First, separate them. Cut the drumstick from the thigh. This will matter a lot in the final product, because generally speaking, you will sit down to eat the thighs, but use the drumsticks in another recipe where they are slow simmer until the meat falls off the bone.

Doing this gets around those nasty ligaments. More on this in a moment.

Brine Thy Bird

It’s important to brine your BBQ turkey legs because this will keep them juicier as they cook. Because you’ll likely cook the drumsticks a second time in a soup or somesuch, it’s less important for them. But it’s vital with the thighs.

My normal brine is 1/4 cup kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal), to 1 quart of water. Dissolve the salt in the water and submerge the thighs (and legs if you want) in the brine in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to cook, just rins and pat dry.

BBQ turkey legs on the grill.

BBQ Turkey Legs Slowly

Slow is key here. You want your smoker or grill cool, like 200F to 225F. It will take time, so do this on a day off or a weekend. I’ve had old gobblers take 6 hours to get tender.

Here’s the thing: You can go one of two routes. You can cook your bbq turkey legs just until they’re done, with an internal temperature of about 160F, or you can fully barbecue them like a pork shoulder, which will take the meat close to 200F.

I choose the first route with jakes and farmed birds, the second with old toms.

For the drumsticks, if you want to actually eat them right off the barbecue, you will need to go the long, slow route, and you’ll still have to eat around the tendons and such.

Smoke and Gear

I do a lot of smoking on a Traeger, but any grill or smoker that will hold low temperatures is fine. If you’re using a gas grill, fire up one element and cook the turkey legs on the other side, grill cover down.

Soaking some wood chips, then setting them on an open piece of foil directly over the gas element will give you a bit of smoke flavor on a gas or charcoal grill.

Wood choice is up to you. I really like oak, maple, hickory or fruit woods. But it also depends on your sauce. In the maple bourbon sauce below, any of the aforementioned woods would be great. But in the picture above, I used a Chinese char siu sauce, and in that case oak is my preferred choice.

If you are going with a Southwest or Mexican sauce, mesquite is the way to go.

About those Drumsticks

Chances are you’ll have super tough drumsticks. That’s OK if you plan for it. Eat the thighs at dinner, then the next morning, use the drumsticks to make any of these recipes, where you simmer the drums slow and low in water or broth

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • If you are brining your turkey legs, dissolve the salt in the water and submerge the turkey in this overnight, or at least 4 hours. Rinse and pat dry.

  • Get your grill ready as described above. Coat the turkey thighs in the vegetable oil. Lay them skin side up on the cooler side of of the grill. Cover and cook until the meat reaches about 160°F, flipping every 30 minutes or so to paint with the maple-bourbon BBQ sauce. For the first 30 minutes, let the turkey cook without the sauce while you make it.

  • Once the turkey is on the grill, make the sauce by sauteing the grated onion in the butter for a few minutes. You don’t want the onion to brown, but you do want it to cook enough to lose that raw onion smell and flavor. This should take 5 minutes or so on medium heat.

  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Boil this down by 1/3. Adjust for heat and salt. If you want, puree the sauce in the blender. I prefer to puree my sauce because it will be thicker that way. Return it to the stove top over very low heat. Stir from time to time.

  • When the turkey is done, shift it to the hot side of the grill, skin side down, for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce. Paint with a little more BBQ sauce right when you serve.

Wood choice is up to you, but oak and fruit woods are perfect here. Only use mesquite if you’re using a Mexican or Southwest style sauce. 

Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 551mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 433IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: https://honest-food.net/bbq-turkey-legs-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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Wild Game Cooking

Venison Enchiladas – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

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Classic venison enchiladas are easy to make, delicious and are fantastic as leftovers. What’s more, you have plenty of option for the filling.

If you have ever traveled in Mexico, you know there are a zillion varieties of enchiladas depending on where you go. These venison enchiladas are pretty standard Northern Mexico and Texas-style enchiladas, which is to say shredded or ground meat, rolled corn tortillas and lots of cheese.

Plus, these are baked, and not all enchiladas are. The net effect is more or less a Mexican casserole, although not so casserole-y as pastel azteca, which is essentially a Mexican lasagna.

I’ll walk you through the process, which involves making the sauce and filling, and then constructing the enchiladas.

Making the Filling

OK, so let me start by noting that you can fill venison enchiladas in a variety of ways. This recipe uses a very simple, picadillo-like mixture with ground venison, but you have options.

Enchiladas have always been a great option for leftover meats, so get creative! A few especially good fillings would be:

  • Actual Mexican picadillo, which is basically really good “taco meat.” There are various kinds of picadillo, but I prefer the Sonoran version, which is not sweet.
  • Leftover venison barbacoa. Using the shredded meat in venison enchiladas is a great use for it.
  • If you’ve made venison tacos with backstrap or steaks, dice any leftovers small and use that as a filling.

One thing I like to add to the filling is queso fresco, a fresh farm cheese widely available in supermarkets. It’s not a melty cheese, so it plays well with whatever filling you choose.

Making the Sauce

I’ll be the first person to say that yes, you can use canned enchilada sauce — if you have one you really like. If you live in Texas or the desert Southwest, there are lots of good ones.

That said, I make a simple red enchilada sauce from a puree of ancho, chipotle and either guajillo or New Mexican dried chiles, a touch of tomato paste, onion and garlic, all thinned out with broth.

This sauce keeps for weeks in the fridge, so you can use it as a salsa later, or for more venison enchiladas or for the filling in venison tamales.

Building Venison Enchiladas

The general instructions for building standard, rolled enchiladas are to either briefly fry the corn tortillas in oil, or reheat them on a comal or flattop, then paint or dip in the sauce, fill, roll, arrange in a dish, top with cheese and bake.

I find that briefly frying the tortillas in oil helps them hold up a little better than if you just reheat them to make them supple. And let’s face it, fat equals flavor, so it adds a li’l sumthin.

Building venison enchiladas is messy, so do it near the sink. I find just going for it with your hands is the best option. Having sauce-spattered hands also keeps you focused, so you won’t be tempted to look at your phone midstream.

As for the cheese topping, ideally you’d top venison enchiladas with hand-shredded queso asadero, queso quesadilla or queso chihuahua. They’re all real-deal Mexican melty cheeses. But you can certainly use pre-shredded “Mexican blend,” if you want, or if you want to lean Tex-Mex, go for classic longhorn cheese.

A dish of venison enchiladas, with two taken out.

Serving and Storing

I will often serve venison enchiladas solo, maybe with a crunchy salad alongside. Nopales salad is a great choice here. You can of course make them part of a larger Mexican feast with maybe a soup like pozole, stuffed jalapenos and, if you’re a hunter, maybe some guajillo smoked doves or fried quail to dig into.

Leftover venison enchiladas keep for a week in the fridge, and they freeze well in the dish.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

SAUCE

  • To make the sauce, boil the seeded and destemmed ancho and guajillo chiles for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and let them soak. Heat a cast iron pan or comal on medium-high heat and lay down the pieces of onion and garlic. You want to blacken the onion on both cut sides, and get some char on the garlic peel. This process takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onion and garlic to a cutting board. Peel the garlic.

  • Put the garlic and soaked chiles into a blender. Roughly chop the onion and add that, too. Add all the remaining sauce ingredients, including about 1 teaspoon of the salt. Puree, adding chicken broth as needed, to make a pourable sauce. In some cases, you’ll need to add some water, too. Taste and add salt if needed.

  • OPTIONAL STEP: I always do this, because it results in a smoother sauce that removes bits of seed and skin, which are undigestible. Push the sauce through a fine strainer with a rubber spatula into a bowl. Set aside.

FILLING

  • To make the filling, heat the lard or oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the chopped onion and the venison and brown well. This takes about 8 minutes or so, and stir the meat occasionally. When it’s mostly browned, add the garlic and oregano and cook a minute or two more. Turn off the heat.

  • Mix in a ladle or two of the sauce, using it and a wooden spoon to scrape off any browned bits stuck to the pan. Once this cools, add the queso fresco and mix well.

TO FINISH

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour some oil in a frying pan, enough to float tortillas, and heat the pan over medium-high heat. Get paper towels or a kitchen towel ready. When the oil is shimmering, fry one tortilla at a time in the oil, flipping once or twice, for only a few seconds – you want to see them puff up. They should be very flexible. Do this for all the tortillas, setting them on the towel.

  • Spread a little sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish.

  • Set up a station where you can dip a tortilla into the sauce (or paint sauce on both sides of each tortilla with with your fingers or a brush), then grab a bit of the filling (maybe 2 to 3 tablespoons) and roll up the enchiladas. Set each one, seam side down, into the casserole. Fill the dish snugly.

  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.

You can use canned enchilada sauce if you want, especially if you have a favorite. 
For cheese, I shred queso asadero or queso Chihuahua, but you can use pre-shredded cheese like the “Mexican blend” in supermarkets. 
 

Calories: 642kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 751mg | Potassium: 1368mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 9500IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 465mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: https://honest-food.net/venison-enchiladas-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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Wild Game Cooking

Garlic Roasted Mushrooms – How to Roast Mushrooms

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When life gives you lots of meaty mushrooms, you could do worse than make garlic roasted mushrooms, plus rosemary or some other herb. Here’s how to roast mushrooms of any kind.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

As you can see, these are roasted porcini mushrooms, but garlic roasted mushrooms works with a wide variety of mushroom species. Some good ones include:

  • Portobellos, which are large button mushrooms.
  • Cremini and regular button mushrooms, which are the same thing; one is grown in darkness to keep it white. Oh, and you do not need to peel either portobello or button mushrooms.
  • Maitake, which is what you will see in the store, or hen of the woods is what we call them here in the U.S.
  • Chicken of the woods, which you can’t buy, but which are very common nationwide.
  • Large shiitake mushrooms, caps only. Save the stems for mushroom stock.
  • Any other edible bolete, such as butter boletes and many of the leccinums.
  • King trumpet mushrooms or larger hedgehogs, Hydnum repandum, which can get big.
  • Lobster mushrooms or big Western chanterelles, which can also grow larger than your palm.
Roasted porcini mushrooms on a plate.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I’m betting most of you will be using store-bought button or cremini mushrooms, and this is fine.

There is not a lot to making garlic roasted mushrooms with herbs. You clean the mushrooms (in most cases just with a damp towel), coat them in oil or melted butter, toss with minced garlic or garlic powder and roast on a baking sheet until done.

You roast mushrooms hot, which drives off excess moisture so you get a meaty roast mushroom, not a flabby one. How long is a bit of an art.

The reason is because it depends on how wet your mushrooms were in the first place, whether they in one layer, and what kind they are. None of this is so radically different from species to species to warrant their own recipes, so here’s a ballpark guide:

  • Portobellos and porcini and large hedgehogs should need about 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Regular cremini or button mushrooms, lobster mushrooms and the Western chanterelles take about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Maitake have thinner bits to them, which will crisp up, so watch them after 25 minutes. I like the crispy edges, though.
  • Chicken of the woods range all over the place, but never less than 20 minutes. I’ve had soggy young ones take 45 minutes.
Closeup of roasted mushrooms with garlic in a serving platter.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

What you are looking for is firm, with a little browning.

I choose to toss the garlic roasted mushrooms with black pepper and whatever herb I am using at the end, so the herbs don’t burn up in the oven. I prefer fresh rosemary, which really likes mushrooms, but fresh thyme, sage, or parsley are also good choices.

If you have leftovers, garlic roasted mushrooms are very good at room temperature the next day, and can be frozen.

Looking for more mushroom recipes? Try my grilled mushrooms, squash gnocchi with mushrooms or Chinese braised mushrooms. All are good side dishes.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Wipe the mushrooms down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Trim any nasty looking bits. Cut large mushrooms into chunks.

  • Toss the mushrooms with the oil, then the salt and garlic, then arrange on a sheet pan in one layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

  • After 15 minutes, move the mushrooms around so they brown evenly. Put them back in the oven. After another 10 minutes or so, you will need to check on them every few minutes until you see the level of browning you want. Different mushrooms will require more or less time.

  • When the mushrooms are ready, return to the bowl and toss with herbs, maybe some more oil or butter, and lots of black pepper. Serve at once.

If you want to add a bit of sweetness or acidity, drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the mushrooms at the table. 

Keys to Success

  • Don’t crowd the mushrooms too much, or they won’t brown at all. Most varieties will give off a lot of moisture, so they need space. 
  • You can add all sorts of herbs at the end, or red pepper flakes, or lemon zest. This is where you can play around with it. 
  • You can also use this recipe as a base, leaving out the herbs at the end. Make this, then sauce the roasted mushrooms as you like. 

Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 698mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: https://honest-food.net/garlic-roasted-mushrooms-recipe/ by Hank Shaw at honest-food.net

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