Wild Turkey Nuggets

Hunting wild turkeys is a passion of mine and eating them, if I harvest a bird, is a bonus of a successful season spent in the Great Outdoors! Here is a simple recipe for wild turkey nuggets. The list of ingredients is short and simple: you transport them right to your campsite and cook for your fellow campers. Half of a breast will feed four people nicely. Think about corn on the cob as a side with this fun finger camp food. Total prep and cook time will take about 50 minutes to an hour.


• One half of a wild turkey breast (cleaned up and cut into bite-size pieces). You will get two halves from one wild turkey and you only need one side for this recipe.
• 3 large eggs
• 1 ½ cup of flour
• ½ tsp of pepper
• 1 tbsp of garlic salt
• 1 ½ tbsp of dry ranch dressing mix
• Vegetable shortening or your choice of cooking oil (need enough to submerge the nuggets half way in the hot oil)
• Season salt to sprinkle on the nuggets once they are cooked
• Ranch salad dressing or BBQ sauce to dip nuggets in while eating. I like mine plain.

Cooking utensils:

• One deep sided cast iron pan (medium to large size)
• One large slotted metal spoon (to turn nuggets and take out of hot grease)
• One 1-gallon Ziploc bag (to mix battered nuggets with dry mix)
• One bowl and fork (to scramble and mix up eggs)
• One large bowl lined with paper towels to place cooked nuggets onto (will take about two paper towels)

Take ½ of a turkey breast (one side, there are two on a wild turkey) and cut up into small bite size pieces. I find it easiest to cut up when it is partially frozen (less than half way). Take the time to ensure all of the silver skin, any tendons and fat is cut off. Take the time to clean the meat up nicely and make sure there are no pellet holes or shot left in the meat. I also put all of my dry ingredients (flour, garlic salt, pepper and dry ranch dressing mix) into a one-gallon plastic zipper bag and mix the dry ingredients up well.

Get your grease hot on medium heat. As usual, I sprinkle a finger full of flour in the hot grease, if the flour begins to cook and bubbles are coming up, it is time to cook the nuggets. You want your cooking oil about 350°F. I dip the meat into the egg batter and then into the dry flour mix. Once coated, place the nuggets into the hot grease.

I will cook the nuggets until golden brown. I tend to lose a little of the batter in the cooking process, but don’t worry too much about that. You can always save the drippings and make some cream gravy to dip the nuggets into if you would like. Drippings in cream gravy is dynamite! 

Recipe and photos by Storm Usrey.

About Storm Usrey

Storm Usrey is the Conservation Education Manager for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.