By Tracy L. Schmidt
No time for a turkey dinner?
Some folks think that cooking wild game meats is complicated, but it doesn’t need to be difficult at all. This recipe is great for a family-style dinner after a long day of work. It comes together so fast you might be able to catch all the members of your family at the same place at the same time. And, after they’ve eaten it once, they’ll want to be there to eat it again. Even kids can help with the preparation of this dish. We like to serve ours with a tossed garden salad and garlic bread.
Sometimes I get the turkey and the breading mixture prepared the evening before so I can just come home and get started with cooking. This meal works well with wild turkey because the meat does not become tough — a complaint I sometimes hear from people who eat wild turkey that’s not properly prepared. The other thing that turns people off is finding feather bits attached to their meat. The easiest way to deal with any remnants of undercoat feathers during preparation is to use a paper towel to remove them.
The key to executing this dish successfully is to make sure the bottom of your turkey pieces do not burn while they are cooking through. Once you put the sauce on them you won’t be able to flip them over, so make sure your pan heat does not run away from you. I lift my pieces during the cooking process to check for burning. To be safe the meat needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
1 egg white
2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup corn flake cereal crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 portions of wild turkey, tenderized flat
2 tablespoons butter
1 (8-ounce) can pizza sauce
1/4 cup grated Italian cheese blend
Quart-sized plastic zip bag
Combine egg and milk in bowl. Pat the turkey dry, then salt and pepper the portions. Place the Parmesan cheese and cereal crumbs in the plastic bag and shake to mix. Then dredge the turkey pieces in the egg mixture and put in the bag, zip it shut and shake to coat. Dredge and shake each piece twice.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and brown the turkey on both sides. Keep one side just lightly browned and put the pizza sauce on the darker browned side that will be the top. Add a few sprinkles of the cheese blend and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. You can cover the pan briefly during the last minute or so to help melt the cheese. Go lightly on the cheese so it melts quickly before the bottoms of the turkey pieces burn (if uncovered) or get soggy (if covered).
An alternative method is to cook the turkey separately from the sauce, heat the sauce in the microwave and then add it to the top of the cutlets when they are cooked through. Then sprinkle the cheese on top of the heated sauce.
About Tracy L. Schmidt:
Tracy L. Schmidt is a certified master food preservation specialist and the author of the book “Venison Wisdom.” Each of her recipes is tested and perfected. She is married to Daniel Schmidt, editor in chief of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine and host of “Deer & Deer Hunting TV” on NBC Sports. Tracy enjoys the versatility of Havalon Knives in both the kitchen and the field.
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