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  • Writer's pictureCourtney LeVesque

Sweet and Spicy Wild Turkey Wraps

The title pulled you in, didn't it? I don't blame you.

When my friend John told me about this recipe I begged him to share it on my blog and I'm so thankful he did. Not only does this recipe satisfy the palate and quench the need for savory-sweet, but it also puts your hard-earned harvest on the table to enjoy.

John, I'll let you take it from here...

Now that you’ve harvested a wild turkey, you want to let it shine! Your search for the perfect recipe ends here. This preparation yields savory, spicy, and sweet flavors to your meat—and it will never become that dreaded dry meat your relatives usually try to feed you on Thanksgiving.

This recipe has changed the way I approach holiday meals and parties, and it has become a driving force for me to keep pursuing wild turkeys year after year. If you’re not a great cook, that’s okay. This is hard to mess up. It’s also flexible enough to try with any other wild game meat.

The spice level is completely scalable to your preferred heat level. You could use bell peppers, ghost peppers, or anything in between. You can even omit a few ingredients or use store-bought turkey and still have great results. The hardest part about this recipe will be resisting the urge to hide in a closet and finish them all yourself!

Sweet and Spicy Wild Turkey Wraps


2 wild turkey breasts

1 8oz package of cream cheese (for a fun twist, use an aged cheese)

4 jalapeno or habanero peppers (choose any pepper for your heat level)

20-30 slices of bacon (depending on the size of your turkey)

6 cloves of minced fresh garlic or 1Tbsp garlic powder

2 cups orange juice or pineapple juice

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup cranberry sauce (strawberry jam can also work)


1. Begin by combining the soy sauce, juice, and garlic in a large bowl, and then let the turkey breasts marinate in the mixture for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge.

2. When marinating is done, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3. Cut the turkey breasts into 1” cubes. The number of cubes can vary greatly depending on the age and sex of your wild turkey.

4. Wash your peppers and cut them into slices.

5. Take each cube of meat, put a large dab of cream cheese on it, and then stick a slice of pepper onto it. Wrap the meat, cream cheese, and pepper with a slice of bacon. (Try to cover all sides, and tuck the end of the bacon slice under itself so the wrap stays together.) Continue until each piece of turkey meat is wrapped.

6. Place all of the wraps in a baking pan. Then brush/spread on the cranberry sauce to each wrap to create a glaze.

7. Bake in the oven until the bacon becomes crispy.

8. Prepare to receive more compliments than you ever have before about your cooking skills, and forget ever making Thanksgiving turkey dinners the same way again! As a side tip, don’t waste the legs and thighs off of your turkey. A lot of folks don’t know how to deal with all of the extra bones and tendons and they end up throwing them away. That’s sad, and in many states, it’s also an illegal waste of game meat.

After you’ve finished with the above recipe, put the legs (whole) in a crockpot/slow-cooker with the marinade you already have. Add water to cover all the meat, then cook them on the longest/slowest setting. (I’ve done mine from 8-16 hours). When you’re done, the meat will literally fall off of the bones. You can drain the liquid and use the meat in tacos, on salads, in sandwiches, and more. Waterfowl legs are also great when prepared this way!

I hope these tips help you really enjoy your hard-earned harvest.

Recipe courtesy of John Gabriel Arends

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