Wild Game Wednesday: Hickory Cider Glazed Wild Turkey

The 2017 fall turkey season is wrapping up and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, making it a great time to start thinking about what turkey recipe to use this holiday season. Check out the Gourmet Gone Wild recipe below, created by our very own chef, Daniel Nelson, to get your taste buds in the mood!


Hickory Cider Glazed Wild Turkey


PREP TIME: The several percolation cycles will take several days. Marinate 12-48 hours.

COOK TIME: 20 minutes

SERVES: 8-12


Hickory Cider Syrup:

1 Gallon apple cider

2 Quarts Shagbark Hickory bark broken into small pieces

2 Quarts sugar


Preparation: Yield 4 Quarts

  1. Add the cold cider to the percolator and the bark pieces to the filter.
  2. Turn on percolator and run a complete cycle. Remove the liquids and remove the filter chamber of bark, keep separate and cool in refrigerator.
  3. Once cooled, set the percolator back up and run the liquids through again. Repeat this process 5 to 10 times.
  4. After the last run you will need to strain the liquids; the finer the strain the clearer the resulting syrup. I will often put a layer of coffee filters between two china caps and filter the liquid through.
  5. Once strained, mix the 2 quarts of sugar into the hickory cider and bring to a near boil. Cool hickory cider syrup and store in refrigerator. If air tight the syrup can be stored for several months. The syrup can re-crystallize but a quick heat through in the microwave will dissolve any crystals.


Glazed Turkey:

1 Wild turkey breast

  Salt and blended pepper

6 Cups hickory cider syrup, divided



  1. Turkey breast has long grains of muscle fiber, running in three distinct manners. Trim and divide the breast following these long running grains, removing the inner silverskin as well. I typically cut my turkey breasts into 3 to 5 smaller portions for grilling.
  2. Season the raw, trimmed turkey breast with salt and pepper and add to a heavy plastic bag, cover with 4 cups hickory cider syrup, remove all air and set in refrigerator to marinate for 12-48 hours, turning every 12 hours.
  3. Remove turkey breast sections from marinade and drain.
  4. Preheat grill to 500°F being sure to create a cool zone for slower grilling. Have a basting brush with 2 cups of the hickory cider syrup available for basting. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on all sides, basting between sides, if turkey breast hasn’t reached 145°F, move it to a cooler section of the grill to finish slowly. Once the breast has reached 145°F in the center of the mass, remove it from direct heat to rest.
  5. Rest for 20 minutes. To serve tender pieces of turkey it is important to thinly cut these sections, across the long grain of the muscle fiber. The shorter the fiber pieces of each slice cut from the loin, the more tender the meat will be to the palate.


To Serve:

Serve in a variety of ways such as on a toasted hickory nut and apple spinach salad; with roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed fiddleheads; or on toasted baguette with sliced apple and Brie cheese. Or in this case try it as a dish at your Thanksgiving feast!


Check back every Wednesday for a new Wild Game Dish recipe, proudly used by MUCC’s Gourmet Gone Wild program! If you’re looking for more wild game and fish recipes check out the MUCC online store and purchase a copy of Wild Gourmet.

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