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Wild Turkey Chili Lettuce Wraps

It’s hard to believe that the spring turkey season was nearly two months ago down here in Texas. Seriously, where does the time go? I sure hope that your spring longbeard season was successful and that success came a lot easier than it did here in the Lone Star State! For whatever reason, the birds decided to play a tight- lipped game of hide and seek across most of the state and that made for a very challenging season for many of us. Fortunately, I was able to convince two great looking birds to come in for a closer look at the decoy and let the shotgun do the rest of the work. With fresh turkey meat in the freezer and the summer weather upon us, now is the time of year that I break out one of my very favorite summer turkey recipes.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that wild turkey meat is very overlooked in the world of wild-game cooking. Is it because there aren’t as many bird hunters as there are deer hunters, or is it because people simply don’t know what to do with turkey other than frying it (which is never a bad thing by the way!)? Over the years, I’ve really made it a point to understand different ways to utilize this delicious meat, especially in some practical weeknight meals. This recipe is simple, fresh and perfect for the hot nights of summer when it’s simply too hot to fire up the grill and sear a steak.


  • 3 TBSP of sesame oil
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 TBSP of fresh ginger, grated or rough chopped
  • 2 cups of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup of cashews or peanuts
  • 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP of Sambal or another chili paste
  • ½ cup of honey
  • 1 TBSP of hoisin
  • 2 cups of soy sauce(lite preferred)
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste



To begin, heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the ground turkey to the pan and brown on all sides. While the turkey is cooking, it’s important to break up the ground meat into smaller chunks. This will not only help with browning the meat, but will also allow the final product to be small enough to be used in lettuce wraps if you so desire!

Once browned, add the garlic, onions and ginger to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes to cook out the raw flavors. As this cooks, combine the soy sauce, honey, hoisin, lime juice and Sambal in a small bowl and whisk. Once everything has had a chance to cook down, add the soy sauce mixture to the pan, as well as the nuts. Mix well and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Prior to serving, add the lime zest, cilantro and basil over the top of the dish.

Serve as lettuce wraps, over jasmine rice or as an amazing topping for a salad.

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