Backfin and Wild Turkey Burger Recipe

Legs from one wild turkey (thighs and drums)
8 live blue crabs
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup mayo
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
Old Bay Seasoning to taste (approx. 2-3 tsp)
Baby greens
8 toasted brioche Buns

Turkey Burgers

Debone the meat from both the thighs and drums. Be careful to remove all tendons from the drums. Cube meat and place in freezer before the first grind. Once meat is somewhat solid, run through the grinder on a medium grind. If meat is still sufficiently chilled after first run, grind a second time for best consistency. Chilling metal components of the grinder before use will aide in the process. Once grind is complete, place meat in the fridge to chill before forming 8 equal-sized patties.


Combine water and vinegar in bottom of a steamer pot and place live crabs in the pot over medium high heat. Season crabs with Old Bay and steam for at least 10 mins, making sure the shells turn reddish orange. Chill crabs before picking meat. Thoroughly pick crabs, separating lump backfin meat from crab meat that comes from claws and other chambers of the body. Lump backfin will be used for the burger topping and other crab meat can be used later for crab cakes, crab dip, etc.

Cheese Topping

Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and season to taste with Old Bay. The Old Bay should not be overpowering, but reminiscent of crab dip.

Cooking and assembling

First, salt and pepper wild turkey patties, and then place on Traeger or grill on high heat. Once patties begin to sweat, give them their first and only turn. Again, wait for the burgers to begin to sweat, and once liquid runs clear, turn down heat and load the burger with a healthy portion of both cheese topping and lump crab meat. Also place brioche buns on the grill to toast.

Once crab meat and sauce are warmed, remove the burgers and buns from the grill and assemble. Place a small amount of the cheese topping under the patty and then top with light mixed baby greens. Serve with a side of seasoned fries. 

Serves 8

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