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Turkey Breast and Wild Mushrooms

March 3, 2016
By Michael Gordon , Ohio Valley Outdoors

By mid-spring if you're a successful turkey hunter you've acquired some wild turkey and if you were really lucky you found some morel mushrooms. These two ingredients make a wonderful meal when properly fixed. Wild turkey is in no way like tame store bought Butterball, they have very little fat and tend to dry out if you over cook them. You need to cook them in a different way. I like to remove the breast and slice it into steak-like portions. These portions cook quickly and are easier to handle than trying to roast a whole bird. I save the legs, thighs and back meat for chili. The legs are tough and they are better after cooking a long time in the chili pot.

The flavor of wild turkey to me is what turkey is supposed to taste like. The washed flavor of a store bought turkey fails in comparison to their wild cousin. This recipe will enhance the fine flavor and hopefully make you a fan of wild turkey.

The morel mushroom is another one of the creator's mysteries. They magically appear each spring and are quite elusive if you don't know where to look for them. The taste of a wild morel is incomparable for those of us who love them. They seem to always disappear at my house when we cook a batch.

Article Photos

A turkey breast and wild mushroom recipe cooked Francaise' style, which means in the French style. It consists of dipping the turkey filet in beaten eggs and frying or sautéing in hot oil. French toast is actually toast Francaise. It is made the same way. Photo courtesy of Michael Gordon

The morels love the little dark corners of the woods beneath old elm trees, abandoned overgrown apple orchard and mature white ash trees. If you find a bunch be sure to wash and soak them for a bit, they like to host little critters at times and you don't want to eat those!

This recipe combines a little bit of French cooking and a little bit of Americana, although the French use morels now because of the unique flavor and the rarity of them in Europe. The term Francaise' means in the French style. It actually consists of dipping the turkey filet in beaten eggs and frying or sauting in hot oil. French toast is actually toast Francaise. It is made the same way. The egg, when sauted in oil, makes a tasty coating that protects the turkey and allows it to stay really moist and tender. The addition of a nice white wine and some fresh herbs make this dish comparable to diner in a fine restaurant.

I paired these two items together for a meal one time after an especially memorable turkey hunt. I had been hunting a new property and was just kind of moving slowly through the hilly wooded area. I heard a turkey gobble off in the distance and set up to call him in. He was over a small rise opposite me. I called a bit and listened for a response. I heard nothing for a good bit. I was sitting facing the top of the rise contemplating on moving. Then I noticed a white head pop over the edge and peer down toward me. I watched the gobbler as he studied the area. I didn't move a muscle, my gun was already on my knee and I wouldn't have to move at all if he came closer. After what seemed like a long time he slowly advanced down the hill a bit within range. I waited until he moved his head down a bit and walked behind some grass and I put the bead on him and fired. The big gobbler, as they often do when shot in the head, began to flop and roll wildly. He bounced down the hill in a few tumbles and came to rest about 20 yards away. I jumped up to retrieve the gobbler and when I got close I noticed he had landed in a morel patch. I froze and started looking around. There were a few dozen beautiful yellow morels popping up out of the green grass.

I was in luck; I tagged the turkey and filled my vest with morels. Needless to say the hike out of my newly found hunting area was quite a happy one.

Turkey Francaise with Morels


2 pounds of cleaned turkey breast, sliced crosswise about 1/4-in thick

2 cups of fresh morels sliced

2 eggs beaten

1 cup flour

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup Pinot Grigio wine

1/ 4 cup fresh chopped parsley one tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon

(or 1 tsp dried.)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 lemon cut into quarters for squeezing


Place the seasoned turkey filets in the flour and shake off the excess. Then dip them into the egg mixture. Preheat the oil in a heavy saut pan or Dutch oven. Carefully place a few of the egg coated breast filets into the hot oil and slightly brown. Turn and brown the other side and remove and place on a warm platter. Brown the remaining breasts and do the same. Now take the morels and gently dust them with the remaining flour and fry them until they shrink to 1/2 size. Place all the breasts back into the pan and reduce heat to medium. Add the herbs and S&P. deglaze the pan with a little bit of the white wine. If there is some left drink it. Add the stock and simmer for about 25 minutes until the breasts are tender. The liquid will thicken slightly and make a delicious sauce for topping the breasts. Squeeze the lemon over the turkey to enhance the flavor.

I like to serve them with Yukon gold smashed potatoes or rice pilaf.. Enjoy



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