July 04, 2023
In the south, there are duck hunters, and deer hunters – and then there are turkey hunters. Spend a few minutes talking to a turkey hunter and it will have you beside yourself, wondering what it is that makes these birds so special. What is it about the pursuit of turkeys that makes people go absolutely mad come springtime?
This past spring, I had the opportunity to find out for myself. Shoot Like A Girl and Beretta invited me on a women’s-only turkey camp to cook and hunt with them at Midwest Whitetails in Clay Center, Kansas. Finally, I would get a chance to see firsthand what all the hype was about.
Each day we ventured out to hunt and by day three we had two women kill their very first wild turkeys, along with several other turkeys killed by members of our group. I hunted relentlessly in hopes of harvesting my first turkey, but unfortunately didn’t get a shot at a longbeard. I went home with a grateful heart for the camaraderie shared, but still had hopes for an opportunity to tag my first turkey.
Not long after, I received a call from a friend who had also been on the SLG Kansas hunt with me. She invited me to come to her home state of Nebraska and give it another shot. Without hesitation, I jumped at the chance.
On day two it all came together, and I was finally able to harvest my first turkey. It took me three years, traveling to three different states, along with patience, resolve and relentlessness to finally kill a bird. I’m not quite sure if this makes me a bonafide turkey hunter or not, but now I certainly get what all the hype is about.
With my first turkey in the freezer comes the fun part. Taking it from field to plate.
Turkey is an incredibly lean meat. In other words, handle it with care to prevent it from drying out. Cooking wild turkey via sous vide is a perfect way to prepare it due to the cooking method’s ability of to retain moisture and impart flavors, all the while cooking the meat evenly throughout.
Wild Turkey Breast – Sous Vide with Jezebel Sauce
- 1 Turkey breast (2-3 lbs.)
- Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage)
- Spritz of lemon Traeger Fin and Feather Rub
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons whole butter
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- Fill a pot with water and set your sous vide cooker to 140 degrees. Add all ingredients to a vacuum sealed bag, including the turkey breast.
- When the water temperature reaches 140 degrees, place the vacuum sealed bag with turkey in the pot. Clip the side of the bag to the pot and and cook for 6 hours. You may need to add more water to the pot at some point.
- When done, remove the turkey breast from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium to high heat and pour in a little olive oil.
- When the oil is hot, add the turkey breast and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let the turkey breast rest for at least 10 minutes prior to slicing.
- 1⁄2 cup apricot preserves
- 3 tablespoons Zatarain’s creole mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon horseradish
- 1 tablespoon apple jelly
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients together in sauce pot on stove
- Cook on low for 15-20 minutes
Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 1 bunch of spinach
- Toasted pecans
- Fresh raspberries
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup cane vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Salt to taste
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground mustard Pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in a blender except for oil.
- Add oil slowly while blending.
- Assemble your salad.
- Toss in dressing and top with ingredients.
Victoria Loomis is a professionally trained chef, hunter, and storyteller. After obtaining years of restaurant experience, Chef Loomis is now specializing as a wild game chef - pursuing connection and sharing stories along the way. “Growing up harvesting my own food has been a process that has been both empowering and humbling all at once. With each endeavor, I am reminded of how interwoven our lives are with the natural world, and the cyclical nature of life and death.” You can find Tori on Instagram at @the_gatherin_girl.