Wild Turkey Eggs Benedict
Recipe by Shawn West
In my opinion, no other type of hunting requires more early morning effort than chasing wild turkeys in the spring months. It is common to rise well before 4 am and my usual breakfast is nothing more than toast, a banana, and some orange juice; anything to get out of the house quickly and quietly in those small hours of the morning.
Given the early start, most hunts are wrapped by mid-morning and a turkey camp full of hungry hunters is a perfect opportunity to celebrate success by using some fresh wild turkey for this game meat twist on the classic eggs benedict.
- Breasts of one turkey (2 breasts cut into strips and pounded thin)
- Vegetable oil (for frying cutlets)
- 12 eggs (8 for poaching and 4 with the yolks separated for the Hollandaise)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, fresh-squeezed is preferable
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 4 English muffins, split and toasted
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Preparing the Hollandaise Sauce
You will need an additional saucepan containing simmering water that is sized so that you can rest your mixing bowl on top of it to prepare this sauce.
Whisk the four egg yolks and lemon juice together in a glass or steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing simmering water. Continue to whisk ensuring the eggs do not get too hot and thus scramble. Slowly pour in the melted butter and continue whisking until the sauce thickens and doubles in volume.
Hint: If you lift out your whisk, the Hollandaise should run smoothly down in a ribbon. Remove from heat, whisk in salt and (optionally) some of the cayenne pepper. Cover and keep in a warm spot until ready to use. If it becomes too thick, thin with a little warm water as necessary.
You can also buy a ready-made Hollandaise sauce in a packet, but that’s really insulting to the turkey and not even remotely as tasty as homemade.
Preparing the Fried Turkey Cutlets
Place the turkey cutlets between two sheets of cling-film and using a meat tenderizer or a heavy pan, pound them until they are about a ¼ inch thick. Fill a deep pan with ¼ inch of vegetable oil and heat to medium-high. Season the flour with the garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Dredge the turkey in the flour and shake off any excess. Fry until golden brown on one side (roughly five minutes) then flip and brown the other side. Keep warm in a low oven.
Preparing the Poached Eggs
Fill a medium saucepan with three cups of water and add the white vinegar to the cooking water. Bring to a low boil. Add the eggs into the water taking care not to break the yolk; I like to do this by breaking the egg into a small glass cup and then gently pouring the egg into the lightly rolling water. Repeat with remaining eggs and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for three minutes until the egg white is set and yolk is still soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain.
To plate, take the two toasted halves of the English muffins and add the fried turkey cutlets. Immediately after cooking, place the poached egg on top and ladle over a generous spoonful of the warm Hollandaise. Sprinkle with a little more cayenne pepper or a dash of Tabasco sauce.
About the Author
While not a professional chef, Shawn West is a lifelong hunter with a love of cooking wild game. He is a field staff writer with HarvestingNature.com. Shawn makes his home in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, and when not chasing deer, turkeys, or waterfowl, he can be found in his kitchen or behind his barbecue grill crafting feasts for his wife and two sons. Visit Shawn’s blog at GetOutandGoHunting.com