DNR encourages wild turkey consumption this Thanksgiving

Published 5:00 pm Monday, November 23, 2020

LANSING — Holiday gatherings may look a bit different this year, but there is still delicious food to eat and memories to be made — and what is Thanksgiving dinner without a juicy turkey on the table?

This year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is encouraging the public to try their hand at cook and serving wild, hunted turkeys.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than to serve a wild turkey that you harvested for Thanksgiving dinner,” said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist. “Wild turkey meat is very flavorful and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.”

According to the DNR, there are many ways  add wild turkey to the family feast — whether the turkey was caught this fall or taken out of the freezer from the spring season.

The most traditional way to cook turkey, whether store-bought or wild, is to roast it in the oven. However,  deep-frying or grilling are both becoming more popular.

Deep-frying has become a popular trend for tasty turkey, but fryers have to be certain thier turkey is fresh or has been completely thawed. While heating the deep-fryer’s oil to 375 degrees, pat the turkey dry with paper towels to reduce any excess moisture and then season the turkey to taste. Always carefully read the fryer instructions to prevent fire or injury, DNR officials said.

For a unique and robust-flavored turkey, consider smoking or grilling a turkey.

The National Wild Turkey Federation offers step-by-step instructions for a variety of methods, including charcoal grilling, gas grilling, smoking or rotisserie cooking, plus an added bonus on how to grill gravy.