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Good Morning

October 22nd, 2013

Yesterday morning I woke up to Mr Chiots telling me he had gotten a turkey. He woke up at 4:30 and decided he may as well go out hunting. This spring he tried to get a turkey but didn’t end up with one. Not wanting to let the tag go to waste, he was going to spend a few days trying this fall.
brian and his turkey
Naturally, we took the opportunity to do a photo shoot for Mechanix, the glove company I take photos for. Mr Chiots makes it easy, he’s one good looking fellow (of course I’m biased).
brian and his turkey (1)
brian and his turkey 1
brian and his turkey 2
Luckily he got one on his first morning out, not that he minds going out multiple days, he really enjoys hunting. We dry plucked the turkey and it’s resting in the fridge. I’ve never had wild turkey and must admit regular turkey isn’t my favorite. Luckily, I have the cookbook Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish which has a few recipes that sound great, unless of course any of you have any great recipes for wild turkey you’d like to share?

22 Comments to “Good Morning”
  1. Karen on October 22, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Susy, do you know Hank Shaw’s blog Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook? He’s got a whole section of wild game recipes. He even makes me want to learn how to hunt.

    Reply to Karen's comment

    • Susy on October 22, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Yes, I frequent his site. I was actually reading yesterday about how to hang & age turkeys and pheasants. Next turkey Brian gets we’ll age it to see what that does for the flavor.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Henry on October 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

    That’s a nice looking bird! Nice work.

    Reply to Henry's comment

  3. Jennifer Fisk on October 22, 2013 at 8:05 am

    An old turkey hunter, now deceased, from Searsmont brought a 25# wild turkey to me a few years ago. He didn’t believe in plucking but instead skinning. I slow roasted that boy in a foil tent. He wasn’t very tender but oh so delicious. The hunter brought me a Tom and a Jake the next year. The Jake was pretty tender but the Tom was an older guy. I froze him and that process plus stewing him created an incredible wild turkey stew.
    I find the wild turkey meat to be very rich and filling. Home grown heritage birds are close but still not the same as a good wild bird.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  4. Jennifer Fisk on October 22, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Tell Mr. Chiots to ask his turkey hunting friends the name of the best turkey hunter in all of Waldo County. Chances are the older guys will give the name initials HK, my friend who died of a heart attack just after shooting a turkey.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  5. DebbieB on October 22, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Hey, congratulations, Brian! Good on ya, getting one on your first time out! My dad was about 50% successful with his attempts to get a fresh wild turkey every fall – I remember his glee when he did.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  6. Nebraska Dave on October 22, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Susy, Congrats to Brian. Are you allowed more than one turkey per tag? I assume the turkey was taken on your own property. I have mentioned many times the fact that turkeys wander through my big Terra Nova Gardens all the time. I often have thought about maybe trying to eat one but they have become pets of the neighborhood and it probably wouldn’t be taken well if the folks found out I was harvesting the neighborhood pets. So I continue to buy my Thanksgiving dinner in a box from the local food store. :0) The hens which I see every time I work there are not real big. Before dressing out they might hit seven or eight pounds. I haven’t eaten wild turkey or any wild fowl that I know of. I’m not a hunter. Now fish that’s a different story for another time.

    Have a wonderful wild game day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Mr. Chiots on October 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      I could get another tag but I think I will pass this fall. Getting geared up for deer season in Maine. Residents only day is the first Saturday in November.

      Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

      • Robin on October 24, 2013 at 7:26 am


        We’ll be able to take two turkeys on the spring and fall tags without paying the additional fee next year. I think they turkeys in my backyard read the law book and know they’re safe (no fall hunt here). They’re here often.

        to Robin's comment

  7. Lorna on October 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I stumbled upon your site the other day and am enjoying looking through your archives. This post made me smile–we moved to MA a year ago and we’ve had the pleasure of watching at least two gangs of turkeys come through our yard nearly every day this time of year. No real hunting necessary here! My children don’t like the taste of turkey, so we’ve never been tempted to take one for eating; however, my youngest son did follow them around the yard one day and got close enough to pet a young one! He was so excited to tell me “it feels like silk, Mommy.” Interestingly, they all disappeared for two weeks around Thanksgiving last year, and then reappeared when the coast was clear; I’m watching to see if they do the same this year.

    Reply to Lorna's comment

    • Susy on October 22, 2013 at 10:33 am

      They are super soft, we were commenting on how soft the feathers were while we were plucking it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. amy svob on October 22, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Congrats Brian! I don’t remember having wild turkey as a kid but many other animals. Are you going to save the feathers and display them?

    Reply to amy svob's comment

    • Susy on October 22, 2013 at 10:29 am

      I saved a few of the feathers, but not all of them. We did save some for a friend who does fly tying.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Erika Keller on October 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I always brine them overnight before roasting for the best flavor and to moisten the meat which can be on the dry side. Many recipes are on the web.

    Reply to Erika Keller's comment

  10. Erika on October 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Congrats on the Turkey! I love see them in the wild as they forage or cross our back country roads. I often wonder how they taste since our homegrown ones taste so good.


    Reply to Erika's comment

  11. Jennelle on October 22, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I love this. I think there’s no better wild game than fresh turkey. My husband killed one this spring, and I used it for all the recipes in my Afield cookbook-which I know you also have. The braised turkey legs were awesome.

    Reply to Jennelle's comment

  12. amy on October 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Congratulations~Brian! Beautiful bird! My father has been an avid hunter my entire life….at present he is somewhere up north grouse hunting. If you like to read about such things you might enjoy Robert Ruark’s, The Old Man and the Boy…..a classic. As much as you two love food you will love the book for this reason as well.

    Reply to amy's comment

    • Susy on October 22, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll make sure to put it on my winter reading list.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Wendy on October 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Don’t know anything about cooking wild turkey, but I wanted to say congrats, and great pictures! Mr. Chiots is looking very GQ in a camo sort of way ;)

    Reply to Wendy's comment

  14. Annette on October 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Don’t forget to make bone broth from the turkey bones. It is incredible.

    Reply to Annette's comment

    • Susy on October 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      We never let the bones go to waste!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  15. KimP on October 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    We always pressure can our wild turkeys. I know you prefer to avoid preserving that way but I’m throwing the idea in here anyway. Cut the meat in chunks, drop them in jars with a bit of salt and pressure can according to the directions. The otherwise-rather-tough meat is very tender and great for sandwiches or salads. Since we discovered how well this worked for us, we don’t do anything else with our wild turkey meat.

    Reply to KimP's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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