Smoky Wild Turkey Club Burger Recipe

A wild turkey club recipe featuring classic flavors in a juicy, lean burger

By: Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Smoky Wild Turkey Club Burger Recipe

Smoky Wild Turkey Club Burger Recipe (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)


Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground wild turkey, white and dark meat
  • 4 green onions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 8 slices cooked bacon, reserving bacon fat
  • Other toppings: romaine lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine ground turkey, green onion, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of salt. Form into 4 patties and lay on a greased rimmed cookie sheet. Bake patties in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Once cooked, drain patties on paper towels. Blot the surfaces dry and sprinkle both sides with Montreal Chicken Seasoning.

Smoky Wild Turkey Club Burger Recipe

Use just enough liquid smoke for the intense, smoky flavor. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)


2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of reserved bacon grease in a large skillet to medium-high heat. When pan is slightly smoking, brown turkey patties until golden on both sides. Add a slice of cheese on top of each patty, and then cover the skillet to allow steam to melt the cheese.

Smoky Wild Turkey Club Burger Recipe

Cooking the patties in bacon grease will take this recipe from good to incredible. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)


3. Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of butter on the inside of hamburger buns. Toast buns until warm. Assemble turkey burger with cooked turkey patty, bacon, lettuce, tomato, Dijon mustard and mayonnaise. Serve turkey burgers with French fries or potato chips on the side.

About This Smokey Wild Turkey Club Burger Recipe

This method of baking the turkey patties first allows the burgers to gently come to temperature without overcooking the outside and over drying the inside. Although fully cooked, your turkey burgers will remain moist. I use breast, leg and thigh meat when grinding turkey. Once deboned, you’ll find lots of great meat in these lesser-appreciated areas of a wild turkey. Not only that, using both white and dark meat will result in more flavorful burgers.

I prefer to grind meat right before cooking, rather than using frozen pre-ground meat. But if pre-ground is all you have and you need to thaw it, you may find that your turkey meat will be quite wet and difficult to form, depending on how the ground meat was stored. The best way to deal with this problem is to allow the meat to drain inside a colander. I have also use paper towels to gently pat the ground meat dry. This should work to keep the patties together, though you will need to be gentle when transferring patties to a pan. They will firm up once cooked. If you’re still having trouble, mix in ¼ cup of breadcrumbs to add more body to the meat.

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