The Essence

Living and growing a family in the North awards you with a real and tangible connection to the land. As a mother of 5 and as a home baker and wannabe chef, it is this connection that seeps into everything - motherhood, food, harvesting, and experiencing the very heartbeat of the bit of earth that sustains us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Superstore Turkey Schnitzel

Living in the middle of nowhere causes you to have to do "big shops" in the city. Whitehorse is the closest to us, about a 4 hour drive, and there sits the Superstore. When you spend $250 there, you get a freebie. Sometimes it's Tupperware or a Lysol Cleaning kit, sometimes it's 25,000 PC Plus points (if you don't have a PC Plus card, go get one, they are awesome) and this past week it was Turkeys. Of course I get the cashier to stop the till at each $250, so I can maximize my freebies. But that also meant that I brought home 3 turkey's. TJ complains about Turkey freebies because of the room they take up in the freezer.

TJ has a new favourite show on Sunday nights. It is called "Meat Eater". Haha. Anyway, the host Steve Rinella hunts everything under the sun and then he eats it (or part of it, often the most discusting part) in the field outdoors. Sometimes it's deer, or wild pig or aoudad or coyote. He hunts all over the world, not for the trophy - but for the meat. This past Sunday, he hunted wild Turkeys. He cut the breasts off the bird and made it into Turkey Schnitzel. TJs mouth watered, and for once he was thankful for the Turkey freebies. 
For our family, turkey is the new chicken. One chicken, even if it's a nice fat farm raised chicken, barely feeds our family of 7. A turkey will feed us 3 or 4 meals. I'm embracing the turkey. Next year when I'm a farmer, I'll be raising me some turkeys! Night one was this turkey schnitzel, and night two  we roasted the dark meat. I'm still working on tomorrow night, I have to do something with the carcass. Hopefully not boring old soup.

First you need to take your thawed turkey and chop that bugger up. Remove the legs and the wings at the joints, then start at the breast bone and take off each breast. I tried to get ok pictures while TJ butchered. Toss some potatoes in some olive oil, salt and pepper and set them to roast at 400 while you make your Schnitzel.

Trim and cut the turkey breasts into cutlets.

Take the skin from the breasts and cut it into chunks to use as icefishing bait.

Now you have to pound your turkey breast cutlets flat. Stick a piece of wax paper over the meat and pound it with a meat mallet, or a rock, or a frying pan. Get creative! 

Season your cutlets, now called scallopini, with salt and pepper. Now you have to make all your dips. Start with a dish of flour, about a cup, seasoned with pepper. Then crack about 4 eggs into another dish, and whisk in about 4 tbsp of milk. Into the last dish, put about 2 cups of Panko, 1/2 cup of Parmesan (real or processed) and a tbsp of Thyme. 

Now get a big sturdy fry pan and add about 3/4 cup of Crisco shortening. Shortening won't splatter as much as oil when you are frying. Set that to medium high heat. There's a trick to knowing when your oil is ready. Stick an unlit match into your warming oil. When it lights, it's ready!

Working with one piece at a time, dredge your cutlet in the flour, coat it with the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then coat it in the Panko. Then carefully place it into your hot oil, and cook until golden brown on each side, about 4-5 mins each side and firm to the poke with your tongs. 

Drizzle with lemon juice, and voila! Turkey Schnitzel. 

The next day, drizzle the legs, thighs and wings with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with lots of salt and pepper and roast at 400 for a couple hours until crispy. Yum.

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