Sunday, December 7, 2014

Baked Rio Grande Wild Turkey

We had our second wild turkey in a row for Thanksgiving (wild as in the type of bird, but actually raised on a farm). Last year we had an Eastern wild turkey. This year we had a Rio Grande wild turkey
Raised in California and slaughtered in the Bay Area.
We got it vacuum packed and fresh.
This turkey was a little larger, 14.5 pounds, and like the turkey last year, had a smaller breast, larger wings and larger drumsticks. Traditional turkeys have small wings that are virtually inedible. Wild turkey wings have more meat and are much nicer to gnaw on (one of the perks that belong to the carver of the turkey). The drumsticks also seem to have less connective tissue and small bones, thus providing more usable dark meat. 

More dominated by legs and wings than breasts.
We cooked the turkey in a bag and it came out looking pretty hammered, falling apart - the breast falling away from the bone, but it was actually moist and not overcooked. The stuffing was breadcrumbs, two pounds of pork sausage, some dried cranberries and walnuts. 

The drumsticks came off quite easily.
A nice selection of dark meat, along with white meat. 
Andrew brought several friends from Los Angeles to share lunch with us and we had an enjoyable time. 


  1. Very tasty, although I feel like it dried out a little as it cooled. And the dressing was pecans (not walnuts), chicken stock, and lots of fresh herbs.

  2. We've got lots (in addition to Stan and me) of wild Montana turkeys around our neighborhoods. If I every catch one, I'll send it on. They are the scraggliest things imaginable, and I doubt there's more than 1/2 cup of meat on them.