First, I have to start by saying I used two frozen wild turkey breasts from this spring that I killed in Nebraska.
However, this dish would be GREAT for using up those Thanksgiving turkey left overs.
Now let’s get to it….
Wild turkey is by far one of the greatest culinary gifts we can find in the woods. Although turkeys are known for drowning themselves while looking up at the rain, there are endless ways of preparing this mentally challenged bird. They are also arguably my favorite wild game to eat.
This dish happened to be the first wild turkey that I have prepared for my newlywed wife. She told me a story while we were eating. She said, “WOW! This is amazing! I was worried.”
I replied, “why were you worried?”
She explained, “well, speaking of mentally challenged animals, the last time I had wild turkey, an ex-boyfriend made it for me. It literally tasted like he marinated it in cat piss. I couldn’t eat it.”
In my opinion, wild turkey is one of the easiest proteins in the wild game world to completely screw up. One of the main reasons for this is the body temperature of a living turkey. It’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 107 degrees. Which is already in the “danger zone” for massive bacteria growth.
And with most turkeys being harvested in the spring, it’s likely that when you shoot your bird, it won’t be on a chilly day. Thus, adding to the chances of your bird spoiling.
So, let’s try and be smarter than the bird and get him cleaned right away.
I made this soup on a cold day. I more or less had a craving for chicken noodle and broccoli cheddar soup.
I didn’t have all the ingredients for either one, so I improvised. A regular chicken stock is what I had in mind to use, but sadly, I was out of it in the pantry.
I did however have some Pho broth that I bought awhile back. Pho broth is chicken or beef broth with added spices like star anise, cinnamon, coriander, fennel and ginger. I’ve made Pho broth from scratch and I gotta say, the store-bought kind isn’t too bad.
Obviously, not as good as the real deal, but not bad. So, I saw this on the shelf and thought, “why not?!”
After this risky bet on some random flavors and very basic ingredients, I have to say, this soup hit the SPOT.
2 turkey breasts
48oz of Pho broth
1 large diced onion
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
3-4 cups of broccoli crowns (add more or less depending on what you like)
1 ½ cups of sour cream
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese (Or more if you like. I honesty have no idea how much I used. But it was a lot)
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup of half and half
½ cup of flour
Directions: (if you are using raw turkey breasts)
In a crockpot, add broth, thawed turkey breasts, garlic, onion, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cover. Set to high heat for 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches or exceeds 160 degrees.
Once the meat is cooked, remove from the crockpot and shred/ chop the breasts. I then put the meat back in the crockpot but later learned its smarter to put the meat in a large soup pot on the stove.
*If you are using leftover shredded turkey breasts, now is the time to add them.
Set the cooktop to medium heat and add onion and a few tablespoons of olive oil to the soup pot. Once the onions are cooked, transfer the broth from the crockpot to the soup pot.
Then add broccoli and simmer for 30 mins.
After simmering, mix flour and milk together in a separate bowl. Make sure there are no lumps. Then add to the pot. Bring back to a simmer, stirring.
Once simmering, kill the heat and add your cheese. Gently stir until the cheese is fully melted.
Plate in a soup bowl paired with focaccia bread. (Or any bread of choice) I like to broil my focaccia and rub with fresh garlic.