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Limitless Wild Game Options For Your Thanksgiving Table

Limitless Wild Game Options For Your Thanksgiving Table

Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal can be stressful with the hustle and bustle of shopping and crowds of people. To alleviate that unnecessary pressure, consider the game you have stored away in your freezer.

One of the many advantages to hunting is the assortment of game you can gather that lasts for an extended period of time. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to stick with a whole turkey from the store and a ham hock. 

When holidays sneak up on you out of nowhere, you have more options than you realize to really jazz up your menu that wasn’t forced upon you from the grocery store. 

So if you have the “too many options” problem we have three unique spins on wild game recipes that will suit your dining table perfectly. Even if you're one of those hunters who enjoys a quick hunt the morning of Thanksgiving, these recipes will make your holiday more delicious than ever.
Honey Mustard Planked Wild Turkey Breast


Photo and recipe courtesy of Game and Fishing Magazine 


Ingredients:

1 boneless wild turkey breast
6-8 strips of raw bacon
1 cooking plank (presoak in water at least 2 hours)

Honey Mustard Marinade:

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon meat tenderizer (optional)

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix all marinade ingredients until thoroughly combined. Place turkey breast in a sealable bag or casserole dish and cover with marinade. Marinate 6-24 hours, refrigerated. Place turkey breast on presoaked plank. Cover with sliced bacon. Grill or bake in a preheated, 375º oven, 30-45 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 150º-160º.
2. Words of caution: Never leave planks unattended on the grill or campfire. Avoid repeatedly opening the grill cover as this can cause flare-ups and lost heat.
3. Planks can be purchased “ready-to-use” or untreated wood can be bought at a lumber yard and planks can be cut to desired size. Any non-resinous wood can be plank cooked upon; cedar, alder, oak, maple, cherry, apple, pecan and hickory are some of the more common wood types.

Plank Preparation: 
1. Soak plank in water or other liquid, minimum 1 hour, maximum 24 hours.
2. Preheat plank on grill at medium heat 2-3 minutes, or in a 350º oven 5 minutes.
3. Brush a light coating of olive oil onto cooking side of board if desired to prevent food sticking.

Plank Cooking Options:
1. Grill (Direct Heat Use the lowest setting on a gas grill or low charcoal heat. Place plank with food directly over the heat source. Cook with the lid closed. Plank should reach heavy smoke in 10-15 minutes. When plank begins to smoke, check often–use spray bottle filled with water to extinguish any flame on the plank. This approach promotes a heavy smoke flavor.
2. OVEN: Preheat oven and board to 350º. Place plank with food, directly on oven rack. Position a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below the plank to catch any drippings. This method infuses a light smoke essence into food. Planks can be cleaned and reused.

BBQ Brined Pigeon 


Photo and recipe courtesy of Game and Fishing Magazine 

Note: Brining birds hydrates the cells of the meat, infusing flavor and tenderness. Brining is the first step when smoking birds but brining before cooking can be just as beneficial. The birds in this recipe can be roasted or finished in a slow cooker.

Ingredients:
4-5 pigeon, dressed
1/4 cup butter, softened

BBQ Brine:
1 quart water
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, whisk brine ingredients until salt is dissolved. Place birds in brine so they are completely covered. Birds and brine can also be placed in a large sealable baggie. Refrigerate 8-12 hours, turning birds at least once during this process.
2. Remove birds from brine and empty all cavities of liquid. Discard brine, do not rinse birds. Place birds on a rack to air-dry, 15-30 minutes. Coat birds liberally with butter and place breast down in a casserole pan. (If using a slow cooker, put birds in and cook 3-4 hours on high.) 
3. Roast in a preheated, 400º oven, 15-20 minutes. Turn birds breast-side up, brush with additional butter, if desired. Roast an additional 10 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 150º-160º.

Mushroom-Stuffed Wild Boar Roast with Black Truffle Sauce


Photo and recipe courtesy of D'Artagnan


Ingredients:

4 tablespoons Black Truffle Butter, divided use
1 pound Organic Chef’s Mix Mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Porcini Powder, to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 Wild Boar Mini Roast
2 1/2 tablespoons Duck Fat, softened
2 shallots, 1 finely chopped, 1 thinly sliced
1 cup red wine
1 container Veal Demi-Glace
1/4 cup Armagnac
1 pound green beans, trimmed and blanched

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt 3 tablespoons black truffle butter in a large skillet over medium-high flame. Add chopped mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms start to get soft, about 2 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Season with a generous pinch of porcini powder. Continue to sauté until mushrooms are cooked through. Adding fresh thyme leaves in the last minute of cooking.
3. Remove the netting from the wild boar mini roast. Unroll the roast, trim silver skin, if needed. Season generously with salt & pepper. Spoon about ½ - ¾ cup cooked mushroom mixture onto one half of the roast. Fold remaining half over the mushroom mixture. Secure roast well with butcher’s twine. Smooth 1 tablespoon of softened duck fat all over the tied roast.
4. In an oven-safe skillet or roasting pan, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat over high flame. Add mini roast, browning on all sides. Place pan in the oven. Roast, uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes, or until an instant thermometer in the thickest part of the meat registers 150 F.
5. Remove the roast to a cutting board to rest.
6. Place the roasting pan with all of the pan-drippings on the stove over medium-high heat. Add chopped shallots, scraping up browned bits from the pan. Add red wine, demi-glace, and Armagnac. Continue to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Cook sauce over medium-high heat until its thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste for seasoning. Add 1 tablespoon of black truffle butter to finish.
7. Heat remaining ½ tablespoon duck fat in a medium skillet. Add blanched green beans and sliced shallots. Toss to coat, cook until shallots are soft and green beans are heated through.
8. Slice mini roast. Serve 1 slice with green beans, reserved sautéed mushrooms and sauce.


We hope you enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving! What are some of your favorite wild game recipes you’re preparing this Thanksgiving? If you use any of our recipes please share your photos of your dining room spread to @NRABlog!

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