Wild Turkey Adobo

No matter where we grew up or what country our family hails from, we all have some kind of comfort food we love. Whether it is an Italian-American kid like me, growing up in the Bronx, looking forward to a big old plate of spaghetti Bolognese, or whether it is someone from the deep south, sitting down to a plate of shrimp and grits, no matter where we roam or what we might eat, simple comfort foods have a special place in our diets and, ultimately, in our hearts.

While this recipe may not be all that familiar to you, it is very much a major league comfort food where it originated, the Philippines. A simple dish with just a few basic ingredients, Adobo is as easy to make as it gets. And this wild game iteration has an absolute ton of flavor and is sure to satisfy damn near anyone who is lucky enough to sit before a place of it. Throw it on top of a pile of steaming hot white rice, and you will be good to go.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Marinating Time: 6 to 12 hours

Cooking Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 wild turkey breast (or 4 wild turkey thighs)
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp light oil (I use avocado, but canola also works well)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • scallions, sliced for garnish


  1. Cut the turkey (breast or thigh) into strips, approximately 1/2 inch thick, against the grain.
  2. Combine garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Add the turkey, stir to coat well and do your best to make sure that the meat is submerged in the marinade.
  4. Seal with a locking lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for six hours to overnight.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over high heat.
  6. Remove meat from marinade (reserve marinade). Shake excess marinade back into the bowl and sear the meat on all sides until browned. Remove to a dish and repeat until all meat is seared.
  7. Add one tablespoon of oil into the pan, add onions and cook until they soften a bit.
  8. Add reserved marinade to the pan and give it a stir.
  9.  Add the water, sugar and black pepper and bring it to a simmer.
  10. Lower heat down to medium heat and add turkey back to pan.
  11. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes and then turn the turkey.
  12. Cook for another 20 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken as the meat continues to cook until tender.

Plating: Coat the meat well with the thickened sauce, serve over rice, top with a bit more sauce and a helping of onions and garnish with sliced scallions.


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