It’s December, which means Christmas and New Years are just around the corner. Many of us have holiday get-togethers that require us to bring a dish to pass. If you were lucky this hunting season, your freezer is full of wonderful wild game. Sharing delicious meals using the wild game that you harvested makes your contribution extra special, and hopefully, opens up the conversation about the hunt that produced the meat. These 7 wild game appetizers are sure to be a hit at any holiday party!

WILD TURKEY ROLLS

Grilled Wild Turkey Rolls

Do you believe that bacon makes everything better? Well, we do. And this is our new favorite way to enjoy our wild turkey. Wild turkey can be tough meat and this is a great way to make it juicy and flavorful!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thick cut pepper bacon

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs wild turkey breast

  • 3 jalapeños (15 slices)

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tbsp white vinegar

  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire

  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Directions

  1. Wild Turkey is one of the most exciting animals to hunt. Turkey is also great for people who are new to the sport of hunting! For tips on hunting, check out our blog 7 CRUCIAL TURKEY STRATEGIES FROM JORDAN SUMMITT OF BUCK/STRUT COMMANDER

  2. Cut turkey into 1 and 1/2″ cubes. Mix marinade. Let meat marinade for a minimum of 2 hours.

  3. Cut each piece of bacon in half. Place one slice of jalapeño and one cube of turkey into center of bacon slice. Tightly roll bacon over turkey and hold in place with a toothpick.

  4. Heat grill to medium heat (around 300-350 degrees). Place rolls on sides and cook slowly turning every few minutes. Once the bacon is fully cooked, your turkey should also be fully cooked. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

DUCK CONFIT CROSTINI

Duck Confit Crostini with Parsnip Puree and Fig

Hunters like fancy food too! This is a super simple way to show your fancier side and also your mastery of duck hunting.

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced duck breast

  • Figs (spread or fig preserves)

  • 1 French baguette

  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • Pepper

  • fresh rosemary

  • 8 ounces parsnips (peeled and small-cubed)

  • 1 cup half & half

  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • sea salt

  • pepper

Directions

  1. Go Waterfowl hunting, and shoot ducks! The HuntWise app is the ultimate toolset to help you find success in your Waterfowl hunts!

  2. Make the parsnip puree. In a small pot, combine the parsnips, Half and Half, garlic cloves, butter, and sea salt and pepper to taste. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook until the parsnips are completely softened. A knife should pierce through them easily.

  3. If there is still a lot of liquid when the parsnips are fully cooked, uncover and reduce some of the liquid. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth and creamy.

  4. Make the crostini. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the baguette into even 1/4″ thick slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Arrange in an even layer on baking sheets and cook until golden (15-20 minutes), rotating the pans halfway through.

  5. Assemble the crostini. Heat the duck confit or duck breast. Spread the bottom of the crostini with parsnip puree. Top with a slice of the duck confit. Garnish with a small dollop of fig preserves and fresh rosemary. Enjoy!

VENISON DUMPLINGS

Venison Dumplings

These are the BEST dumplings. This recipe from Meat Eater is a great way share your venison with your friends and family. You can make these ahead of time so they are ready when you are! Make sure you make extras, because these are going to go fast!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground elk or deer

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger (fresh ground)

  • 1 tablespoon ground lemongrass

  • 1/2 cup green onions (finely chopped)

  • 1/4 cup carrots (shredded then finely chopped)

  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

  • 1 egg (beaten)

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

  • 4 cups flour

  • 2 cups boiling water

  • 4 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon green onions (finely chopped)

  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Get out and hunt! Venison is incredibly lean and tasty. For help scouting, and hunting the wind, the HuntWise app is an essential!

  2. Dough Wrappers- Pour flour and salt into a medium, wide mixing bowl that you can comfortably place both of your hands into. Mix well. Create a well in the center, and slowly pour in the hot water. With a wooden spoon, mix in the water until clumps form. Hand-knead dough until fully combined. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.

  3. Form dough into a single ball. Remove from the bowl, and place on a flat and lightly floured surface. The dough should be soft and not sticky. It needs to hold its shape. Knead aggressively for at least 5 minutes, or knead for 10 minutes if you are taking your time or your hands get tired. Once the dough is well-worked and smooth in texture, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

  4. Filling – In a large bowl, mix all ingredients for the filling except the breadcrumbs. Once all the ingredients are well mixed, fold in breadcrumbs.

  5. Assembling the Dumpling – Place one 4-inch round wrapper in your hand, and add a spoonful of filling (slightly smaller than a golf ball) to the center of the wrapper. Don’t overfill. Leave 1⁄2 inch around the edge of the wrapper. Dip the tips of your fingers in a bowl of warm water, and wet the inside edge of the dough halfway around the wrapper. Fold in half, and pinch the edge to close together. Pleat edge of the dough to seal the dumplings.]

  6. Place dumplings on parchment paper, and keep them covered with a light towel to prevent them from drying out.

  7. Cooking – Once all the dumplings are assembled, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.

  8. Arrange the dumplings in a single layer in the pan, and fry for 3 or 4 minutes, until the bottoms are golden. Add 2/3 cup of water, and immediately cover the pan with a sealing lid.

  9. Let dumplings steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water if needed to keep steaming for the full amount of time.

  10. Remove dumplings from the pan. Serve with sauce in a dipping bowl.

  11. Sauce –Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sesame oil and onions. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add remaining ingredients, stir and bring to boil. Remove from heat and pour into a dipping bowl.

ELK POPPERS

The Best Wild Game Jalapeño Poppers

This recipe by Eva Shockey puts a fresh spin on the party favorite: jalapeño popper. We call it “Elk Poppers,” but really, you can use any form of venison or wild game to make this delicious classic appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 cup lime juice (fresh squeezed)

  • 1 cup soy sauce

  • 4 steaks (depending how big they are, optional: can substitute elk steaks for dove breasts or any other wild-game steaks)

  • 20 jalapeño peppers (fresh)

  • 12 ounces herb

  • garlic

  • cream cheese

  • 20 strips bacon (cut in half)

  • honey (to drizzle at the end, optional)

Directions

  1. Thinly slice venison steaks into bite-sized pieces so they are approximately the same width and length as the jalapeños. Mix marinade ingredients together in a big bowl. Add sliced steak, cover, and let sit for at least 2 hours (I marinate them overnight).

  2. Preheat oven/grill to 350 degrees. Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise; remove seeds and center membrane, lay on a platter, cut side up.

  3. Spoon Cream Cheese equally into all jalapeño halves. Lay one slice of marinated elk on top of each jalapeño.

  4. Wrap each jalapeño popper in one piece of bacon. Place on grill, cut side up for 10-15 minutes or until meat is cooked and jalapeños are tender and lightly charred. Once you remove them from the grill, drizzle honey on poppers if you’re feeling extra wild – this gives them a sweet kick that cuts the spice!

VENISON QUESO

Venison Queso RecipeIt is so simple, yet SO satisfying. Bring together two things you already love; queso and venison! This is a great way for people who are sensitive to the, sometimes “gamey,” taste of venison, to enjoy your deer meat! deerrecipes.online is a great website that has TONS of amazing recipes!

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces velveeta cheese (Original, Block)

  • 15 1/2 ounces chunky mild salsa (Tostitos)

  • 2 bags Tortilla Chips (or a shovel)

  • 1 pound venison sausage

Directions

  1. Hunt deer! Check out these tips on Harvesting Big Bucks on Public land!

  2. Fry the venison sausage on medium-high heat until done, about 7 minutes, breaking it up as it fries.

  3. Slice the Velveeta cheese into tiny blocks and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.

  4. Pour the salsa on top of the cheese and heat 4 minutes at a time, stirring until nice and smooth.

  5. Pour the cheese and salsa into the venison sausage and mix well.

Smoked Duck

How to Make Smoked Duck

This is a simple and perfect way to smoke a duck! Once your ducks are smoked they can keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. Check out this recipe by hunter, Hank Shaw, it is very detailed and excellent.

Ingredients

  • 1 large duck or small wild goose

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup thick maple syrup

Directions

  1. Shoot a lot of ducks because people will be sure to ask for more!

  2. Remove as much of the fat inside the body cavity and around the neck as you can. Save it, though, and render the duck fat for cooking later.

  3. You will want to prick the skin of a domestic duck or goose all over with a needle — be careful not to pierce the meat, though. This helps rendered fat escape. I’ve even done this on fat wild ducks such as pintail and gadwall that had been gorging themselves on rice.

  4. If you choose to brine, click here.

  5. If you are skipping the brine, simply pat the duck or goose dry, let it dry out for a few hours and salt it well before smoking.

  6. Boil down regular maple syrup by half; it’s close, but not the same. I need no other flavors in my life, but honey would be good, as would a Cajun rub, something vaguely Indian, chiles, French quatre epices, etc. Use your imagination.

  7. If you plan on serving the smoked duck for dinner, go with a hotter temperature, between 250 to 275°F. This renders fat pretty well and gets you closer to a crispy skin. As for time, I prefer 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours at this temperature.

  8. To crisp the skin, get your grill or oven ripping hot — 500°F or so — and put the ducks in with a drip pan underneath for a few minutes, until the skin crisps. Check after 5 minutes, and in no circumstances let the ducks or geese sit in this temperature more than 15 minutes.


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