8 Thanksgiving Recipes for a Wild Game Holiday

Spice up your Thanksgiving feast with the multitude of wild game recipes we compiled to make this Turkey Day one for the books

8 Thanksgiving Recipes for a Wild Game Holiday
Impress friends and family with this elaborate roast quail and stuffing dish from Tom Minchella. (Photo courtesy of Tom Minchella)
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It's finally time to take that prize meat out of your freezer – but how are you going to incorporate it into your Thanksgiving spread? Whether you have venison, duck, goose or regular turkey on the menu for this Thanksgiving, we have you covered with our most popular recipes for the holiday season. Try the Spicy Apricot-Bourbon Wild Turkey Recipe over mashed potatoes, or switch it up with the Duck Stuffing Recipe in place of traditional stuffing. Impressing your family and friends is made easy using any of these eight wild game recipes.

Balsamic Roast Quail With Sage Chestnut Stuffing Recipe

This Balsamic Roast Quail With Sage Chestnut Stuffing Recipe is the perfect recipe for a festive, fancy feast this season.

Stuffing Ingredients:

  • ½ pound fresh chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 6 slices stale bread, broken into pieces
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Quail Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh quail
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Roast Quail With Sage Chestnut Stuffing Recipe



Venison Roast with Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Venison Roast With Cranberry Sauce Recipe
A classic venison roast is the perfect Christmas recipe, especially topped off with holiday cranberry sauce. (Hank Shaw photo)

Hank Shaw enjoys hunting, fishing and foraging near Sacramento, California, then creating delicious recipes from his day's work, like this Venison Roast with Cranberry Sauce Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 5 pounds venison roast
  • Vegetable oil to coat
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • Zest of an orange, sliced into strips with pith removed
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Get the Recipe: Venison Roast With Cranberry Sauce Recipe



'Best Turkey Ever' Recipe

'Best Turkey Ever' Recipe
You can baste your turkey ‘till the cows come home, but all that does is make the skin crispier. The basting ritual doesn’t help make the breast meat juicy – putting it in a cooler does. Give this ‘Best Turkey Ever’ Recipe a try and see for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

It doesn’t matter how you cook your turkey. Whether it is smoked, fried, grilled or roasted, placing a brined and cooked bird in a cooler for a couple of hours will result in a more moist, flavorful and delicious bird than if you go from the oven, grill or fryer to the table.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon water (or more depending on the size of your turkey)
  • 1 cup kosher salt (or ¾ table salt)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 trussed turkey
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped carrots
  • Chicken broth

Get the Recipe: 'Best Turkey Ever' Recipe



Duck Stuffing Recipe

Duck Stuffing Recipe
Bread, veggies and duck are the key ingredients to this Duck Stuffing Recipe. (Hank Shaw photo)

Change it up on Turkey Day this year and try this Duck Stuffing Recipe cooked outside of the bird instead of the inside.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces duck or goose meat
  • 4 ounces pork fat or bacon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 pound of stuffing cubes or stale bread cut into cubes
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice (optional)
  • 2 cups duck or chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Get the Recipe: Duck Stuffing Recipe


Venison 'Scotch' Pies Recipe

Venison 'Scotch' Pies Recipe
The 'Scotch' pie is one of Scotland's most popular fast foods. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

These "Scotch" pies are filled with ground venison and gravy, making them the perfect handheld treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground venison (including 20 percent pork/beef fat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup room temperature brown gravy (homemade or store-bought)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh sage
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter

Hot Water Crust Pastry:

  • 200 grams (.44 pound) lard (try to find minimally processed lard)
  • 1 cup water
  • 500 grams (1.10 pounds) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

Get the Recipe: Venison 'Scotch' Pies Recipe


Spicy Apricot-Bourbon Wild Turkey Recipe

Spicy Apricot-Bourbon Wild Turkey Recipe
A wild turkey recipe that was inspired by the Pioneer Woman's peach and whiskey chicken recipe. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

Serve this Spicy Apricot-Bourbon Wild Turkey Recipe over a pile of steaming hot mashed potatoes, and you've got a winning dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 wild turkey thighs, skinless
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ¼ teaspoon dry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce (preferably more tart than sweet)
  • ¾ cup apricot preserves
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
  • Freshly chopped green onion/chives for garnish
  • Freshly prepared mashed potatoes

Get the Recipe: Spicy Apricot-Bourbon Wild Turkey Recipe



Venison Pot Pie Recipe

Venison Pot Pie Recipe
Introduce the fantastic flavor of venison to friends and family this holiday season with this venison recipe. (Jeff Kuhl photo)

Cut a large slice of this Venison Pot Pie Recipe, or make them in individual soufflé dishes for a tasty wild-game take on the traditional chicken pot pie.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds venison stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons basil paste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 cup diced, canned new potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons beef base paste mixed in 1 cup water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup green onions
  • Prepared pastry dough

Get the Recipe: Venison Pot Pie Recipe


Goose Breast with Cranberries Recipe

Goose Breast With Cranberries Recipe
Cook the goose breast medium-rare to ensure a mouthwatering, tender meat. (Hank Shaw photo)

Follow this recipe to see how great goose breast is on the table along with a special cranberry touch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds duck or goose breast
  • Salt (smoked salt if you have it)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary, (loosely packed) little bunches on stem
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • Pickled mustard seeds (optional)

Get the Recipe: Goose Breast with Cranberries Recipe

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