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.

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Red Currant Jelly

Although red currants are found in forests all over Europe, their acidic taste means that their use remains marginal, except in jams and jellies.  Red currant jelly is nonetheless a great companion to game meat, and if you want to make your own, the time is now! You can keep it in your fridge until game season begins.

Notice the easily remembered proportions, which are probably applicable to other berry jellies: X oz juice, X g pectin, X oz sugar (just watch the measurement units).

Red currant jelly
Yields 1 pint

20 oz red currants
3 oz water
10.5 g powdered pectin
10.5 oz sugar

  • Place the red currants and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes. Pass through a chinois and weigh 10.5 oz of juice. Blend with the pectin in a blender on low speed.
  • Return to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the sugar in a few additions, bring back to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Transfer to a sterilized pint jar, seal and process in a 200 F water bath for 15 minutes.

Mors, Russian Berry Cocktail

Mors is a refreshing drink made of berries. Though cranberries are the most traditional choice, any berry in season can be used, and commercial brands in Russia and Ukraine offer anything from blackcurrant to raspberry. This version, made with red currants and blueberries, was inspired by the selection at the Union Square Greenmarket this morning — I avoid mixing more than 2 flavors, or it becomes hard to distinguish them in the final beverage.

Mors can be consumed by itself or in cocktails. More often than not, the cocktail is simply a shot of vodka on the side.

Red currant and blueberry mors
Yields about 3 glasses

5 oz red currant
5 oz blueberry
15 oz water
3 oz sugar (more or less, depending on your taste and the acidity of the berries)
1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Place the berries and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Pass the liquid through a chinois and return to the saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice, then bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and remove from the heat. Pass through a chinois again, let cool and refrigerate.
  • Serve with ice.