Wild Turkey Kiev

By: The Local Palate
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With its rich flavors and satisfying crunch, this Wild Turkey Kiev recipe offers a unique fusion of savory herbs and moist turkey, making it a wonderful centerpiece for any dining occasion.

The trick here is to fully encase the butter within the turkey breast so it doesn’t leak out during cooking. Traditionally, the butter is placed inside a pocket in the breast, which can make it vulnerable to leakage during the frying process. My method is to instead enclose a pounded cutlet around the butter, which gives the Kiev more stability. It is then rolled tightly in plastic wrap and rested, forming it into a consistent, even shape. Each layer of breading, from the first application of cornstarch (which has a stickier coating quality) and flour to the egg wash to the final layer of breadcrumbs needs to be fastidiously applied completely. While garlic and parsley are traditional, I prefer some extra herbs—namely floral cilantro and pungent dill—in the butter.

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Makes 4 servings

    For the Compound butter
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 springs parsley, chopped
  • 4 springs dill, chopped
  • 4 springs cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 45 oz turkey cutlets or 8 smaller cutlets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lard, tallow, clarified butter or oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko

Make the Compound Butter

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl and combine well. Leave at room temperature if using immediately, or refrigerate if finishing the preparation later (let it soften again before cooking).

Prepare the Cutlets

  1. Pound the cutlets to an even thickness of about 1⁄4-inch. Lay out the 4 cutlets and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Alternatively, 8 smaller cutlets can be overlapped into 4 portions. Spread one quarter of the herb butter in the center of each, leaving a 11⁄2-inch border on all edges, and roll up, tucking the sides in to completely enclose the butter. This will create a pinwheel of turkey and flavored butter.
  3. Transfer this cutlet to a small sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a cigar shape by simultaneously twisting each end tightly in opposite directions, forming the cutlet into an even cylinder. Each should be around 6 inches long and around 13⁄4 inches thick.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a couple of days. Heat a fryer or pot with 2 to 3 inches of fat to 325°F.

Make the Breading

  1. Combine the cornstarch and flour in a small dish. Set the eggs out in a shallow bowl, and do the same with the breadcrumbs.
  2. Next, unwrap the turkey cutlets and roll each cutlet in the flour mixture, making sure the entire roll is very well coated, especially the more exposed ends and edges.
  3. Then roll each piece thoroughly in the beaten eggs.
  4. Finally, roll in the breadcrumbs, coating completely

Make the Cutlets

  1. Fry each portion in the hot oil until golden brown, about 10 minutes, making sure the temperature of the fat doesn’t exceed 325°F or the turkey may burn before the interior is cooked.
  2. You want to achieve an internal temperature of 150°F, but you also don’t want to poke a hole in it prematurely and allow for the butter to leach out, so this is a bit of a conundrum.
  3. Fry slowly and steadily, and when it’s a deep brown, it should be ready.
  4. Resting will continue to circulate the hot butter throughout, which will continue to cook it.
  • Recipe Excerpted From
    The Turkey Book: A Chef’s Journal of Hunting and Cooking America’s Bird by Jesse Griffiths

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