Crawfish-stuffed Wild Turkey with Creole Cream Sauce

Sitting at turkey camp in south Texas around a table covered in boiled crawfish, the stories of the evening’s hunt danced in-between laughter and eating. As we enjoyed an evening of good company and even better food, someone around the table asked me what I was going to create for my Texas turkey recipe, and then someone else yelled out, “Could you stuff one with crawfish?”

That simple sentence got my mind racing, and I grabbed my phone and started jotting down ideas of a recipe that came to my head. The next evening, after a successful morning hunt, the idea from the night before had a chance to become reality. It turned out better than I could have ever planned. Here is that recipe from that night at the crawfish boil. It may not seem like a Texas recipe, but crawfish boils, down in south Texas, are a huge springtime event that falls right in the middle of turkey season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shelled, boiled crawfish tails
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ¼ sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 1-2 wild turkey breasts, butterflied
  • ¼ cup Cajun boil seasoning (Zatarain’s or similar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • (toothpicks or butcher twine)
  • Creole cream sauce ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste (or smashed garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup of crawfish boil water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, add crawfish tails, spinach, garlic, onions and ½ teaspoon olive oil. Sautee until tails are heated through and spinach is wilted.
  2. Remove from heat and let mixture cool 5 minutes. While mixture is cooling, season all sides of turkey breasts with Cajun seasoning.
  3. Roll turkey breast lengthwise and place mixture on one side to make sure it covers meat end to end.
  4. Roll your breast tightly and secure closed with toothpicks or butcher’s twine. Place on grill or smoker over medium heat. You can also place in oven at 275 degrees. Cook until internal temperature reaches 155.
  5. While meat is cooking, start working on your sauce. In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic paste and cook 15 seconds, whisk in flour and work on your roux; cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  6. Slowly add cream, whisking as you pour. Add remaining ingredients and mix fully.
  7. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and let sauce build flavors. Stir often so not to burn.
  8. Once turkey reaches 155 internal temperature, remove and allow to rest. Remove sauce from heat as well.
  9. Slice breast, plate and pour sauce down center of plated meat. Add a warmed crawfish and finish off with chiffonade spinach (thinly sliced) and serve immediately.  

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