Wild turkeys are smaller than domestic turkey and have darker meat. Their meat is also richer, more intense flavor, and firmer in texture that domestic turkey.
A source of critical nutrients, organic turkey meat is an important part of the American food chain. It is readily available from a variety of sources. It is also versatile and can be prepared in several different ways.
When you want to add organic turkey to your diet, you need to know where to find and buy it. You must also appreciate the methods in which it can be prepared for you and your family today.
Is Turkey Meat Legal in the United States?
Not only is turkey meat legal in the United States. It is also one of the most plentiful sources of meat available to American consumers today.
In fact, the United States is the largest producer of both domestic and organic turkey today. In 2016, the U.S. raised and sold more than 7.5 billion pounds of organic turkey meat. The top turkey producing states include Minnesota, North Carolina ,Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri.
While you can readily buy turkey from any big box grocery store, butcher shop or meat processing factory, you can also hunt for it in most U.S. states. Some of the best states to hunt for turkey include Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado and Nebraska. Many states, especially those in the Midwest, allow for both spring and fall firearm and bow turkey hunting seasons.
Where to Buy Turkey Meat
If you are not one to hunt for your turkey, you can always buy it from a wide array of sources. Most big box grocery stores have turkey in stock year round. However, they are sold at their lowest prices during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
You can also buy turkey meat from farmer’s markets and organic grocery stores. These sellers must be licensed and inspected by the USDA. It is not technically legal to buy the meat from any source that does not undergo UDSA inspection.
Finally, meat processing plants that specialize in processing both domestic and wild fowl can be good sources of turkey meat. If they have retail shops attached to their facilities, you can find wild turkey for sale during the fall and spring hunting seasons. These facilities also buy turkey from USDA-licensed farms for the sole purpose of processing and selling their meat.
What Does Turkey Meat Taste Like?
Turkey meat tastes similar to domestically raised chicken. In fact, it has a similar texture and color to chicken. However, the pieces of meat are larger and also have a slightly stronger flavor.
Still, the flavor can be so mild that it does need additional ingredients to bring out its fullness. You can pair it with sage, onion and parsley to make it more flavorful.
Wild turkey, however, can have a gamey flavor, especially if the bird is several years old. To remove the gaminess, you need to soak the meat in milk for a couple of days before cooking it.
How to Cook Turkey Meat
The breast tends to cook faster than legs or thighs, barding the breast with bacon, or covering the breast with foil, and basting the whole bird with butter or oil and cooking liquid is recommended. Wild turkey must not be overcooked because it can become dry.
Anyone who eats turkey meat on a regular basis can tell you how versatile it is. Just like chicken, it can be prepared in several different ways. The most popular way to cook it involves roasting it for several hours at a low temperature.
However, aside from roasting, you can also cut the turkey up into breast, leg, thigh and wing pieces, coat them with breading and deep fry them. You can also deep fat fry the entire bird.
Like chicken, turkey can be stewed and used as a base for soups, stews and dumplings. It can also be ground in turkey burger and used to make meat loafs, burgers and steaks.
Turkey Meat Nutrition Facts
A four-ounce serving of turkey contains:
- Eight grams of fat
- Two grams of saturated fat
- 65 milligrams of cholesterol
- 20 grams of protein
- Eight percent iron
It also contains 120 calories. It can be a low-fat, high-protein source of nutrients that you need for a healthy diet.
Organic turkey is an important part of the American food supply. You can add it to your diet by knowing how to find and prepare organic turkey meat for your table. It is a versatile meat that can also be hunted in a number of states like Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and several others.