“She said you’ve got me figured out but I’m not what I seem
And for a dance I’ll tell you ’bout these tight fittin’ jeans.” ~Conway Twitty
There’s nothing more satisfying than eating what you kill. A bold statement, I know. We celebrate when the first green sprouts of baby lettuce break through spring earth and get tossed into a beautiful salad or happily gorge at the first few bites of juicy ripe stone fruit from blossoming plum trees. But, eating our kill does strange things to people. If it doesn’t come from a styrofoam container wrapped in shiny plastic we reason, it must be bad. Perhaps, the opposite is true.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to hunt wild turkey in Eastern Washington, an experience I was looking forward to for the better part of 9 months. Clouded in mist, the morning started quiet, with no sounds of turkey anywhere. It wouldn’t take long before an opportunity would present itself to harvest a beautiful Merriam in full strut with my Beretta double barrel over under.
Happy to come home with fresh wild turkey I couldn’t stop thinking about the multitude of ways to prepare the meat. After cleaning the remaining feathers and separating the tenderloins from the breast I got to work creating recipes. The first in a series, and one that rightfully deserves its name, this pizza gets its kick from the crushed red pepper and lots of full bodied flavor from caramelized onions, thick cut bacon, two cheeses, roasted butternut squash, and of course, from fresh wild turkey.
Bang Bang Turkey Pizza // serves a crowd
1 pound fresh wild turkey breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pizza crust prepared
1 small butternut squash, seeded, cubed, roasted, and pureed
1 red onion sliced into 1/8″ thickness
1/2 pound thick slab bacon
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cub blue cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh Sage
Preheat the oven to 400*F.
Trim ends from the butternut squash, halve lengthwise, discarding the seeds. Transfer the squash, cut-side up, to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Cover the squash with foil. Roast until softened, 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover and set aside until cool enough to handle. Working in batches, scoop the softened squash from the skin into a food processor. Puree the squash mixture until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining squash and set aside.
Season cubed turkey breast with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan over medium heat add oil and then the turkey breast. Cook each side about 3 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside being sure not to over cook the meat.
Bring the pan back to medium heat, add the bacon, and cook on each side until desired crispness. Remove from heat, cool, and slice into large pieces.
Bring the pan back to medium low heat, add sliced onions, and cook 35-40 minutes or until browned and caramelized. Avoid overcrowding the pan to prevent steaming the onions.
Increase the oven heat to 425*F. Place pizza crust on baking pan. Spread a thin layer of butternut squash puree evenly over the entire surface of the crust, leaving a half in border. Add caramelized onions, bacon, turkey, both cheeses, and sage. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest 5 minutes, serve hot with crushed red pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!