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Recipe: Turkey Hunter's Wreath

Recipe: Turkey Hunter's Wreath

This recipe will make anyone want to keep their turkey legs and thighs after their next successful hunt. A turkey wreath may have festive connotations, but for hunters, it means a celebration of success with succulent dark turkey meat. If you have family or friends that are doubtful about eating wild turkey, this will be their turning point.

• 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls

Make and combine the wreath filling in a bowl with the following:
• 2 cup cooked turkey, chopped or shredded (legs and thighs work great)
• ½ cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
• 2 Tbsp honey Dijon mustard (can also use honey and regular Dijon)
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• ½ cup celery, sliced
• 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
• ½ cup dried cranberries
• 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
• ¼ cup walnuts, toasted & chopped (can substitute pecans)
• 1 egg, separated (keep whites for brushing over dough).

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Unroll crescent rolls, arrange 8 in a circle with wide ends in middle (use a pizza pan or round stone). The inside of the circle should be about 10-inches in diameter. Attach the other 8 crescents, wide end, between your first row, so you can seal seams together after using them to close the wreath filling inside. The crescent rolls are easier to work with cold, and will hold their shape better, so open one container at a time.

3. Scoop filling over seams of dough, forming a circle. Make sure the filling is evenly and uniformly spread across the crescent rolls (I often roll the mixture to form cylinders to place on the dough). Take the pointed ends the crescent rolls and pull around the filling to make a wreath shape. The wreath will have small openings where you can still see the filling. Brush with egg white.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Perfect Turkey Leg and Thigh Meat Preparation
Preparing wild turkey legs and thighs allows you to make wild turkey soup stock, and have tender, shredded meat ready to make a variety of recipes with. To prepare, place cleaned wild turkey legs and thighs into a crock pot, cover them completely with water, add ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper and turn the pot on high (you can also use a stock pot on the stove). Once at a rolling boil you can turn to low, if the liquid continues to simmer. The long, slow simmer will make the turkey meat extremely tender, with no gristle residue. Let the liquid and turkey cool. You can then shred the turkey meat by hand, removing all the small bones found in turkey legs. There will be several cups of boneless, extremely tender meat when completed.

The broth should be saved for soup or other dishes and can be strained to clarify. It will be concentrated and can be diluted with some water.

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