With the holidays fast approaching, you may be wondering how to make the most of your game meat—or, how to make a unique thanksgiving recipe. In this Backyard Life video, Joe Thomas shows us a unique Thanksgiving eat with his deep-fried turkey nugget recipe demo.
“I love turkey hunting in the spring,” says Thomas. But, what he loves just as much is setting aside some of the breast meat for a great meal. He uses it in the fall to make his Thanksgiving specialty: deep-fried wild turkey nuggets. These delicious, bite-sized treats are easy to fry at home, says Thomas. “You can also use grouse, pheasant or even chicken.” But, it all starts with some good boneless, skinless breast meat.
Turkey Nugget Prep Work
Thomas gets started by cutting two large turkey breasts into bite-sized chunks about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick. Then, he makes a marinade of milk and Frank’s hot sauce (and sometimes a little butter). However, if you’re really into heat, Thomas recommends cutting the milk and butter.
Thomas then puts the turkey nuggets into a large freezer bag with the marinade, allowing them to soak up the flavor overnight.
Turkey Frying Tips
Thomas pulls out the marinated nuggets the next day once he’s ready to cook them. But, there’s one more delicious step before these wild turkey nuggets hit the fryer.
Thomas pulls out the nuggets in batches of 6-8. Then, he dredges them in McCormick’s Cajun Seasoning straight out of the box. From there, he checks the temperature of his peanut oil. “You want it to be around 350-375 degrees,” he says.
To test the oil, Thomas uses an old trick from his grandma. “Put a little piece in the oil. If it starts to brown and floats immediately, you know you’re ready to go.”
Thomas then drops his first batch of nuggets into the fryer and watches to make sure they don’t end up under or overdone. His tip: “When that batter turns golden brown and they float up, you know that they’re good.” Then, he scoops them out onto paper towels and readies them for serving.
In all his years making them, there’s only one problem Thomas has encountered with the recipe. “By the time you get a batch out, everybody standing around the grill has already eaten them. And, now you have to start all over again!”
“Give this unique holiday eat a shot” says Thomas, and “I promise everyone who comes over this Thanksgiving will love them.”
Serve as appetizer or with fries and biscuits as a full entrée. You can try Joe Thomas’s deep-fried Cajun Turkey Nugget recipe at home using directions below:
- Cut boneless, skinless wild turkey breast into approximately 1-inch cubes and soak in a Ziploc bag with Frank’s hot sauce for a minimum of three hours.
- Take marinated nuggets out of the Ziploc bag and put directly into a clean bowl.
- In a second bowl place a box of McCormick’s Cajun seasoned batter mix. With a fork, roll marinated turkey chunks in McCormick’s mix.
- Take turkey chunks out of seasoning and drop 8-12 nuggets into a pan of boiling hot peanut oil (350 degrees). Cook until the meat floats to the surface and remove immediately with a strainer spoon or tongs.
- Place on a serving dish covered in paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat process until the entire batch is cooked.