When I entered the blind at mid-morning, a plant just outside the entrance captured my attention. Several hours later when I emerged, the second thing I did after tagging the Tennessee tom I had just shot, was gather the morel mushroom I spotted earlier. I quickly checked to see if any of its fellow fungi might be prospering nearby.
My wife, Elaine, and I have a garden. A few weeks later, after killing a Virginia gobbler, I paid a visit to that garden and the chicken run that adjoins it. From the former, I picked some mild white onions, cut several snips of chives, and clipped some tender young asparagus stalks. And from the latter, I gathered eggs from our Rhode Island Red hens.
Elaine and I learned from those hunts that wild turkey leg or neck meat, along with wild foods such as morels, and fresh-from-the-garden onions, chives and asparagus (with eggs of course) make for sublime springtime frittatas. Here’s her recipe.
Elaine’s taste of spring turkey frittata
Use the meat from turkey legs or neck. A pressure cooker is a good tool for cooking the legs, so the meat can be easily removed from the bone. You will need to follow the cooking instructions for your particular cooker. Another option is to cover the legs with liquid and cook them in a crockpot for four to five hours until tender enough to remove the meat from the bone.
To prepare the neck, place it into a small crockpot. Cover with chicken broth or water and cook three to four hours, or until the meat can be picked from the bone. This recipe serves two to three people. Alter ingredients accordingly to accommodate larger numbers.
• 5 eggs
• 1 cup of turkey meat
• ¼ cup of chopped onion
• ½ cup of sliced morels (store-bought mushrooms are an acceptable substitute)
• ¾ cup of asparagus stems cut into 1-inch pieces
(wild or garden-grown asparagus)
• ½ cup of chopped or grated cheese (we prefer sharp cheddar)
• 1 tbsp. of chopped, fresh chives
• Olive oil or butter
• Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil or butter in a skillet. Sautee the onions and mushrooms until tender, which takes six to seven minutes. While the onions and mushrooms are cooking, blanch the asparagus in hot water for one minute to tenderize it. Do not overcook the asparagus. Drain and set aside.
Add the asparagus and turkey to the skillet. Break the eggs in a bowl and mix well with a fork. Pour over the skillet mixture and cook over medium heat until it sets. Afterward, top with a cheese of your choice and chives. Salt and pepper to taste.
Note: Some may enjoy this dish with fresh, wild ramps; however, we feel ramps overpower a frittata and are too strong for our taste.