Everyone knows that fried wild turkey nuggets and fried wild turkey sandwiches are delicious. And deep-fried turkeys are extremely popular for Thanksgiving dinner. Why not combine the two? We inject the wild turkey breast with a turkey stock and butter-based mixture to maximize juiciness before frying. The hot oil seals the surface of the meat and traps moisture inside to prevent the turkey from drying out.
For the injection, we used some of our slow cooker wild turkey stock as the base. If you haven’t made your own stock, you can substitute chicken stock from your local market. Use a plastic or metal marinade injector to add the liquid, injecting in several locations throughout the breast meat for even distribution. You can add the injection up to several hours in advance of the actual cook.
An outdoor fish or turkey fryer is the perfect cooking vessel for this recipe. That way, even if you splash oil out of the pot, cleanup isn’t a big deal. As with all outdoor deep-frying, locate the pot away from the house or combustible materials and keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
When it comes to oil, choose one with a high smoke point for this recipe. Vegetable, peanut, soybean, or restaurant-style deep-fry oil are all good choices. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure your oil is between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit before slowly lowering in the turkey breast. Cook time will vary based on the size of your turkey breast. Figure 4 to 5 minutes per pound. I cooked a 3-pound breast for 14 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 160 to 165 degrees.
Don’t worry if the exterior of your fried turkey breast is dark. It isn’t burned; that’s just the seasoning. The exterior of the breast should be crispy and delicious, the interior juicy and tender when sliced.
1 side of a wild turkey gobbler breast, 2 to 4 pounds
2 tablespoons Traeger Fin & Feather Rub
2/3 cup wild turkey stock
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Rub the turkey breast all over with the Traeger Fin & Feather. Set it aside to rest while your oil heats.
In a saucepan, heat the butter until nearly melted. Add the stock. Stir in the other injection ingredients and whisk well to combine. Remove the pan from heat and allow the liquid to cool to just above room temperature. Whisk the injection mixture well.
Using a marinade injector, add the liquid to the turkey breast, injecting it in several locations and moving the needle around for even distribution.
Using a meat hook or a large set of tongs, gently lower the turkey breast into the hot oil. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes per pound. Remove the cooked turkey from the hot oil, loosely tent with foil, and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin slices.
Serve the turkey as a main course or pile it high on a sandwich.
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