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Fried Wild Turkey Nuggets

One of the most frequently asked questions about wild turkey is "how do I cook it?"  Wild turkey can be a bit tougher than its domestic cousin, and as such it should not be cooked in the same way.  With many states restricting harvest to gobblers only, you'll really need a good recipe to bring out the best of what could otherwise be a very tough piece of meat.

Don't let this scare you, however.  It's not nearly as bad as I make it sound; wild turkey is excellent table far.  Just remember that you're not cooking a butterball turkey from your local grocery store.


  • One wild turkey breast
  • A good mustard based BBQ sauce.
  • Flour
  • Spices of your choice (but don't forget salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning)
  • Cooking oil of your choice.  I use Smart Balance for this recipe.
Begin heating your cooking oil.  I heat mine to 350 degrees in a "Fry Daddy" deep fryer.

Trim your turkey breasts by removing all excess fat and yellow meat.  Be sure to remove all shotgun pellets, or you might get a nasty surprise when you bite into a nugget.  Once the meat is trimmed, cut it into one inch strips.  It is critical that you cut across the grain of the meat.  Doing this is the single most important factor in ensuring that your nuggets come out tender.

Baste your strips in a sweet mustard based BBQ sauce.  Although I've tried many sauces, I've found that the best match for wild turkey is the mustard sauce from Courtney's BBQ in Clover, SC.  You can order a bottle of sauce directly from their website.

While the turkey is soaking in the BBQ sauce, take a bowl of flour and add your spices.  I like to use Cavender's Green Seasoning, cayenne pepper, coarse black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, and a dash of poultry seasoning.  Mix all of the spices in with the flour, then give each turkey strip a good coating before putting it in the oil.

Cook the strips for about 10 minutes or until they are a dark golden brown as shown in the picture above.  While they are best served hot, the leftovers make great cold snacks the next day.
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