Who’s Hungry For Holiday Wild Turkey

Seasons greetings everyone – no matter what holiday you’re celebrating this month – from the gang at California Sportsman. 

If you hunted California during the fall turkey season and you’re planning to cook a frozen bird today, here’s a recipe from our Wild Chef, Jeremiah Doughty, with an apple-infused delicious dish:

Wild chef 1

Recipe and photos by Jeremiah Doughty 

Sitting under an old oak as the sun slowly peeks over the horizon, I hear a lone gobble in the distance. I look across the field to a dew-covered apple orchard and watch as a flock of wild turkeys bust the roost and start pecking at the fallen fruit.

This is one of my favorite sights in the northern San Diego Mountains, where I hunt my turkeys. I was sitting under the old oak one morning, watching the flock enjoying fall’s fruits, when this recipe came to me. I thought about how the birds would taste as they filled their bellies on the nearly endless supply of apples.

Unknowingly, they are adding a sweetness to their meat that only comes from eating the fruit. This recipe brings all those memories rushing back to me with every bite. I think back to those chilly fall mornings as my dad and I sought to harvest a holiday bird. I can remember the excitement as that lone tom made his way over. With every bite I relive the hunt – the adventures of a moment not forgotten, the bounty of the dew-covered apple orchard, the bird that didn’t get away.

Wild chef 2


2 turkey breasts deboned, skin on

1 stick of butter, plus 2 tablespoons – separated

One box of your favorite stuffing

1 pound pork sausage, removed from casings (I use fresh wild boar sausage)

One brown onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried savory

Two medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped

2 cups chicken or homemade broth


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butterfly each turkey breast; pound out flat and set aside. In large bowl, add melted butter, broth and stuffing mix, then remove and set aside.

In skillet add sausage, break up and cook through. Remove from pan. In skillet, add the 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté onions with garlic until soft. Add thyme, sage, rosemary and savory; cook for one minute more.

Add apples to mixture and cook an additional three minutes. Remove from heat and add mixture along with sausage to stuffing mix. Mix all ingredients until fully combined. Add a half-cup more stock if the stuffing is dry.

Take your turkey breasts and cover with stuffing mix. Tightly roll each breast, tying with butcher’s twine. Rub each breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for 30 to 40 minutes until internal temp reaches 165 degrees.

Transfer turkey to cutting board and allow to rest for five to 10 minutes before slicing into this amazing dish. Cut into half-thick slices and serve alongside your favorite holiday sides. CS

Editor’s note: For more on the Wild Chef, Jeremiah Doughty, check out his website (fromfieldtoplate.com), like him on Facebook (facebook.com/Fromfieldtoplate) and follow on Instagram (fromfieldtoplate) and Twitter (fromfield2plate).