Wild Turkey Schnitzel, Finger Lakes Riesling Sauerkraut and Red Currant Jelly

In my previous wild turkey post, I proposed an original way to prepare the legs of your hard-earned gobbler. This time, I’m tackling the turkey breast, with a far more classic schnitzel recipe.

Although it originated in Austria, schnitzel is commonly served throughout Eastern Europe, where it is made from a variety of meats, especially pork and chicken . So why not wild turkey? I also found wild turkey eggs (which, I imagine, come from turkeys that aren’t all that wild, save for their breed) at the farmers market and thought I could fry them and serve them on top of the meat, Hamburg-style.

Traditional sides for schnitzel consist of potatoes or pickled cabbage. I opted for a variation on the latter, and my sauerkraut recipe is adapted from Marc Haeberlin dans votre cuisine, a cookbook by the chef of the famous Auberge de l’Ill. Of course, since my turkey was bagged near the Finger Lakes, I replaced the Alsace Riesling with something more local. The sauerkraut makes more servings than the schnitzels, because the ingredients are hard to scale down. So either save some for another meal, or invite the neighbors and make twice as many schnitzels!

Finally, you may remember the red currant jelly I posted about last July, claiming it was a great companion to game meat. Well, here’s an occasion to use (some of) it.

Finger Lakes Riesling sauerkraut
Yields 8 servings

16 oz turkey stock (or chicken stock)
20 oz sauerkraut
5 oz thinly sliced onion
4 oz duck fat
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz Finger Lakes dry Riesling
salt
black pepper, ground
2 cloves
2 juniper berries
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 bay leaf

  • Reduce the turkey stock by half, and reserve.
  • Rinse the sauerkraut under cold water, drain and squeeze to get rid of all the liquid.
  • In a pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the duck fat until translucent.  Add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the Riesling, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the sauerkraut, then season with salt and pepper. Wrap the cloves, juniper berries, coriander, caraway, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth tied with twine, add to the pot, cover and cook in a 350 F oven for 90 minutes.
  • Return the pot to the stovetop, and simmer over medium heat until the liquid has almost completely reduced. Reserve.

The whole wild turkey, once quartered

Turkey schnitzel
Yields 4 servings

1 wild turkey breast (about 24 oz)
2 oz butter
canola oil (for deep-frying)
4 oz flour
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz breadcrumbs
salt
black pepper, ground
4 wild turkey eggs
Riesling sauerkraut
Red currant jelly

  • Cut the turkey breast into 4 equal pieces, vaguely oval-shaped. Place each piece between two layers of plastic wrap, and pound until about 3/8″ thick. Reserve.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it turns brown. Reserve.
  • Heat the canola oil to 375 F in a deep-fryer. Place the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece with flour, then coat with egg and cover with breadcrumbs on both sides. Deep fry in the oil until lightly golden, then drain on paper towels. It’s important to remove the schnitzels before they get too dark, as the meat will get dry if you overcook them. Brush each piece with the brown butter, and let rest for a couple minutes.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brush with some of the brown butter, and cook the turkey eggs sunny side up. Season with salt and pepper, and cover with a lid to finish cooking. You want the white to be set but the yolk to be runny — it’s meant to be used as a sauce!
  • Serve with the Riesling sauerkraut and the red currant jelly.

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