Sunday, June 11, 2006

Wild Turkey Casserole

I've been getting quite a few questions regarding the name of this blog.

It comes from my love of cooking, and the fact that my cooking style is more like that of the Food Network chef who shares my first name than that of Emeril Lagasse. (Hint to those who have wondered how to pronounce our unusual first name...he pronounces it correctly, just watch the show.)

A few days ago, Norm made a reference to my cooking, but I assure you all, I've never cooked for Mr. Leahy. Last night, during an e-mail conversation with Waldo, the subject came up again. So I've decided to occasionally post some of my favorite recipes. The one that follows calls for wild turkey (the bird, not the bottle), but I have used it with other poultry ranging from dove breasts to pheasant. Its even quite good with plain old store bought Butterball leftovers.

Once upon a time, my hunting club (now no longer active) would have an annual banquet sometime in January after the hunting season had ended, with each member contributing something from that season's harvest. This was always a favorite at those dinners.

2 cup Wild rice
1 cup Brown rice
5 c Chicken broth
1 can Sliced water chestnuts
2 cans Chicken broth
4 tb Chopped onion
1/2 ts Chopped garlic
4 tb Grated Reggiano (or Parmesan) cheese
4 c Diced wild turkey (Combine White and Dark Meat)
1 lb Mushrooms; sliced (Morels or Shitaki if available)
1 pt Heavy cream
1 ts Butter
2 c Chopped celery
Salt; to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper;

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine wild rice, brown rice and 5 cups chicken broth and cook until done. Salt and pepper to taste. (I find canned chicken broth to be quite salty already, so be sure to taste before adding more. I usually use Swanson's low sodium for that reason.)

In large mixing bowl, toss rice, wild turkey and mushrooms. Add cream, butter, celery, water chestnuts, 2 cans chicken broth, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with Reggiano. Bake 1 hour.

I have used this recipe with dove breasts, as well as pheasant, grouse and quail. They all turn out very good. (If using dove breast, mix in a small amount of diced white meat chicken or quail, since the dove breast is all dark meat.)

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