Recipe: Wild Turkey Waldorf Salad

posted on May 6, 2024
Fenson Turley Waldorf Salad (8)

Hunting Gould’s turkey in the Western Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico was exciting, and being unable to bring meat home meant it would be consumed in camp. Hunting from a historic ranch, we used the woodstove to brown the meat before moving it to the oven to braise it tender. We stocked the stove with wood for four hours until the meat pulled apart.

Gould's Turkey hanging on fence

The breast meat was pulled, chopped, and made into a form of salad that was eaten on tortilla chips and used in sandwiches or hoagie buns. There was some debate about what to call it. After looking up the definition of a Waldorf salad, I found the decision easy.

Wikipedia states, “A Waldorf salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of celery, fresh apples, walnuts and grapes, dressed in mayonnaise and traditionally served on a bed of lettuce as an appetizer or a light meal.”

Oven and stove

The ingredient list was close enough to consider our creation a Wild Turkey Waldorf Salad. It was a huge hit with everyone in camp.


  • Preparing the breast meat
  • One wild turkey breast
  • Butter
  • Oil
  • Chicken stock

Turkey Meat


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and brown the breast meat. The breast can be cut into two or three pieces. Do not turn the meat until the sear darkens the surface of the meat—brown all surfaces.
  2. Place the breast meat in a roasting pan and pour chicken stock to cover ¾ of the meat. Place the lid on the pan and roast at 325-degrees Fahrenheit for three hours.
  3. Remove the meat from the pan and allow it to cool.
  4. Pull the breast meat into long fibers, then chop it against the grain.

Blended turkey and mayo

Wild Turkey Waldorf Salad Ingredients

  • Meat from one braised turkey breast, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup of green or red grapes, quartered
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries or raisins
  • ½ cup of walnuts, chopped
  • ¾ cup of mayonnaise
  • Zest one lime
  • 2 tsp of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of chili powder or tajin
  • Salt and pepper

Plated Turkey Waldorf Salad


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey salad ingredients. Blend until creamy and smooth. Add more mayonnaise if required, or substitute with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.


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