Wild Turkey BBQ Sauce

Did you know we have wild turkeys here on Long Island? They reside mostly on the east end in fields and Pine Barrens and suburban yards. Also, there is a three day hunting window for people to go and have a more authentic thanksgiving experience. Why defrost a large frozen bird when you can pluck a fresh lean one. But I digress. The wild turkey we’re talking about here is the one that comes from Kentucky. Yes, a little wild turkey goes a long way in making a great barbeque sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic, and whiskey. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Mix in the ground black pepper, salt, ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar, liquid smoke, brown sugar, and a shot or two of hot pepper sauce if you’re into that sort of thing.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Run sauce through a strainer if you prefer a smooth sauce.

Now that we have some barbeque sauce… we can brush a liberal amount on a couple of slices of pork shoulder, placing them in our crock pot. Put your crock pot on low and in eight hours or so… you will have some barbequed pulled pork bourbon style.


Turkey Left-over’s Left-overs

Turkey Hash, yeah, nothing says that the thanksgiving is over like a plate of eggs over easy, toast, and a helping of turkey hash. It’s a nice brunch item, and since it uses small sized pieces of turkey, you can make this from the left-over’s left-overs.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cups turkey
  • 1/2 cup turkey gravy
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Chop the vegetables and sauté them with a little butter in a skillet. When they are tender, add the turkey and the gravy. You can add a little water if the left over grave is a bit on the thick side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. I usually serve this on toast and top with an egg.



Giants… yup.. the Giants. In this case we’re talking turkey… drumsticks to be precise. These make a main course fit for football kings, especially when you have them served up by someone wearing a jester’s hat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 or 2 drumsticks per person
  • A grill!
  • Sauce!


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Duck Walk red wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Make the sauce ahead of time. In a medium saucepan, add olive oil, garlic, chipotle powder, and cumin. Allow to heat through, while stirring, for 1 minute. Add red wine and brown sugar. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add in soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, allow to cool before using.

Game day – fire up the grill… remove the skin from the drumsticks and trim off any excess fat. Put sauce on them and on to the grill. Baste with the sauce as they cook. When ready… put them on a platter and call for the Jester.

What, you have no in-house jester you say… here’s how you make your very own jester:

Take little pieces of paper and make numbers 5, 10, 15, 20, all the way up to fifty. Put these pieces of paper in the jester’s hat. As your guests arrive, they have to pick a number. As the game starts, and the opening kick off is returned, find out who has the number that is furthest away from the starting yard of scrimmage… THEY’RE the jester!

Long Island Thanksgiving – Leftover Turkey Soup

Time to put that stock to use, that’s right; we’re talking turkey soup here. We’ll talk about turkey salad later, but as the colder air creeps in, and turkey soup is what’s on.

  • 1 quart turkey stock
  • 1/2 pound of turkey
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • Thyme
  • Sea salt

Pour the stock into a soup pot on a medium heat and shake in a little sea salt. Then add the rice and let it simmer away for 20 minutes or so. Then add the carrots, celery, onion, turkey, thyme and let that simmer another 20 minutes or so to let the flavors meld together.

At this point, you could toss in some cilantro if you have some handy, and I usually have some handy as its growing in the window sill. Let that cook another couple of minutes as you fetch some bowls and crackers.

I prefer to use the wider, shallower soup bowls for this, and serve it with the crackers and leftover cranberry sauce (for the crackers of course).


Long Island Thanksgiving – TURKEY

Its turkey time! And turkey is certainly a local Long Island item. The state’s department of conservation reports that the local populations have made a remarkable recovery since the wild species was threatened in the late ninetieth century. The wild turkey hunting season on Long Island is from November 21st through the 25th. But, if you don’t have the time or inclination to dress up like a pilgrim, grab a blunderbuss, and wander into the field to ‘shop local’ for a thanksgiving turkey, there are other local alternatives.

Turkeys have been farmed on Long Island since colonial times. When I was a kid living in Patchogue, there was turkey farm on Gazzola drive, right near Sills road. They made quite a racket when you drove past. Although that farm, like many other local large farms is no longer around, there are still local Turkey farms on Long Island. So, here is another shop local option for your holiday feast.

Unlike many of my other recipes, this list of ingredients harms no hogs! As for cooking the bird, my personal secret recipe will remain a secret… at least for another year.

So, tomorrow, enjoy your secret turkey recipe but remember that the results are best shared with friends and family and a remembrance of those whom we are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all… and check back for more recipes after the holiday!

Turkey w Wild Rice Soup

Whole Foods is the only place around here that I can think of that sells wild rice by the pound. You just go and scoop in out of the bin and into the bag and off you go happily to the counter… with a bag of rice, and maybe some couscous…

I was picking up the wild rice because I have two roast turkey legs left over in the freeze and an abundance of celery and carrots… and you know THAT makes soup.

  • Two roast turkey legs
  • 1 cup of wild rice
  • 3 ribs of celery chopped
  • 3 carrot chopped
  • A handful of cilantro
  • ½ tsp French thyme
  • Sea salt

Take the skin off the legs and toss it. Then take the meat off the legs and put it in a bowl. Boil the leg bones in a quart or so of water with sea salt. Once it gets to a boil let cook about half an hour to make a strong stock.

Using tongs take the bones out of the water and toss the rice into the stock. Let this boil a few minutes and then toss in the celery, carrots, and thyme. Cook until these soften up. Then toss in the turkey meat and cilantro, and cook until you think it’s ready!

I like nice hunk of hearty whole grain bread, or a seeded rye bread with this. Its nice to have a bakery just down the block.