Spring turkey seasons have come to an end, and hopefully there are a couple big birds gracing your freezer. A wily old gobbler is an ultimate challenger for most hunters in the spring. Matching wits to a bird with a brain the size of a pea might sound easy. However, anyone that is addicted to turkey hunting knows the challenge is what makes you set the alarm clock at ridiculous hours of the morning to go again.
Diligence and hard work make hunters appreciate the food brought to the table. The adage, “the harder they are to get, the better they taste,” rings true with a mature tom that has encountered a few hunters over the years.
A good friend took his daughter out this spring, and she harvested her first longbeard. It was a special occasion, and they called to ask for a special recipe to commemorate the big event. Discussing options, she finally settled on turkey fingers made from breast meat, with a little bit of spice and a thundering crunch with every bite. The crispy introduction to each bite would be a reminder of how the mature bird thundered from its roost in the morning.
If there is not a favorite turkey recipe amongst your clan, a thunder-crunch turkey finger might be just the ticket.
Directions 1. Trim silver skins and sinewy connective tissue off turkey breasts, and cut the breasts into 3-inch strips, at least ¾-inch wide. 2. Place cubes in a zipper bag or sealable bowl and pour buttermilk over them to cover. Refrigerate overnight (12-24 hours).
Breading Ingredients • 1 cup flour • 1 cup bread or Panko crumbs • 1 tablespoon cornstarch • 1 tablespoon dried parsley • 1 teaspoon garlic powder • 1 teaspoon onion powder • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning • 1 teaspoon oregano • 1 teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon black pepper • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for heat lovers) • 4 cups frying oil
Directions 1. Combine breadcrumbs and spices in a bag or airtight container.
2. Add cooking oil to a 12 to 14-inch Camp Chef cast iron frying pan or Dutch oven to a depth of about 2 inches. Preheat cooking oil to 375°F.
3. Drain excess buttermilk off turkey fingers by letting them sit in a large sieve over the sink for a few minutes. Place 3 or 4 fingers at a time in the breadcrumbs and shake to coat each piece thoroughly.
4. Place the coated fingers one at a time in the oil to fill the pan. Turn each piece at least once, and cook until they are golden brown, about two to three minutes per side.
5. Remove the fingers from oil and place on a paper towel-lined tray to absorb excess grease. Serve hot with your favorite barbecue or dipping sauces.
Tip: Use a thermometer to monitor oil temperature, which is critical to obtain the ‘crunch’ and avoid oil from absorbing into the breading.