Food from the Farm: What do you do with Smoked Turkey?
Good morning friends and local food eaters,
Our 'Everything Shares' contain 5 types of meat: beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and turkey. The breakdown is roughly one quarter beef, pork, and chicken, with the remaining one fourth alternating monthly between lamb and turkey.
Obviously, the turkey portion is not a whole turkey.
What we do is raise turkeys seasonally (in the summer and fall), on pasture. We butcher most of them whole for holiday roasts for Thanksgiving, and then we break down the rest into parts for the Meat CSA.
The thighs get ground up for ground turkey and simple turkey sausage. The wings and legs get salted and hard wood-smoked. The breasts get salt cured and pressed, smoked, and sliced for sliced smoked turkey breast. You will get a mix of all of these cuts if you have an 'everything' share.
So, what do you do with smoked turkey wings and legs ???
Other than gnawing on them renaissance fair style, what is the best approach?
These are hot smoked, so they are cooked and ready to eat. Which means technically you could just reheat them and eat as is. We have done this of course, and it is actually a delicious and quick meal, if you don't mind the fact that they are a bit tough, with some connective tissue as legs and wings tend to have.
I prefer to cook with them.
Here is a great idea and photo submitted by Meat CSA member Nancy:
"Love the CSA so much. Just wanted to share that I’ve held off on using our smoked turkey wings because I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Made this recipe (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/lentil-soup-smoked-turkey) tonight using just ingredients I already had and it is spectacular!! Might be worth sharing at some point."
Thanks Nancy! This photo makes me hungry.
Because they are salted and smoked, the legs and wings are very flavorful, reminiscent of ham, and can be used as such.
Here is another recent supper that Brooks prepared for us.
He took all the veggies we had in the fridge (a mix of carrots, parsnips, onions, ginger, cabbage, and broccoli I believe) and stir fried them together with deboned and shredded smoked turkey leg meat. Served with rice, this a quick and delicious meal.
I did not alter the colors at all in the above photo - because the turkey is salt and smoke preserved, it retains a striking red color.
I would recommend omitting all other salt in any dish that you cook with smoked turkey pieces, and taste-testing at the end before seasoning to taste, which may not be necessary at all. They are fairly salty on their own, and will lend a nice salty flavor to whatever they are cooked with.
Meat CSA member Yvonne wrote an email to us titled 'Smoked Turkey is AMAZING!' : "Hi Brooks and Anna -We have been saving our smoked turkey for the holidays and OMG they are AMAZING!!! Everyone at our dinner LOVED them and I'm so mad at myself for waiting so long to try them. We're looking forward to renewing our CSA next year and PLEASE bring back the smoked turkey!!! They are, hands down, one of the best things we've ever had in the 2-3 years we've been members! Great job and thank you!!!Yvonne" Thanks Yvonne!
So don't be afraid of smoked turkey.
Good luck! Let us know how you enjoy your pasture-raised, hand cured and naturally smoked turkey from North Mountain Pastures.