Sorry mom, but growing up I never liked turkey. Never eaten save on two holidays, it was always overcooked and underflavored. Thankfully wild turkey solves both problems handily if done right.
Roasting a whole turkey is probably a fools errand. It looks cool, but the different parts respond best, by far, to different treatments. I like to remove wild turkey breasts and fry them as schnitzel, sear and braise them as cacciatore, or rub and grill them as barbeque (all originally wild game preparations). The four limbs and the meat attached are extremely tasty, but a whole lot tougher, and benefit from the classic sear and braise method.
For this year, I had a whole carcass left from this springs bird, minus the breasts. I had originally intended to braise it whole, but lacked a pan anywhere close to long enough. So I cut off all four limbs at the upper joint, brined them overnight (salt, brown sugar, alpine cider vinegar), and made stock out of the rest of the bird. This stock is very lean, but full of flavor. Yesterday morning I browned the meat pieces in oil, poured off said oil, deglazed the pan with a splash of vinegar, then added the meat, the liter of turkey stock, a further liter of chicken stock from the store, a whole white onion, two big leaks, and three carrots. All this was simmered gently for about 5 hours. When the meat was falling off the bones I carefully removed all bones and cartilage (which is tricky), and simmered more aggressively for another half hour with the lid off to reduce the stew. I flavored the broth with a touch of sea salt and thyme.
Unlike stereotypical turkey, leftovers will only get better (see above). The stew sets up in a light aspic that is the key to this dishes success. The broth has a subtle flavor with a surprisingly amount of depth. No need to turn it into curry.
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