Run turkey, Run turkey, Run far away!

My grandfather used to arrive in Appleton two days before Thanksgiving, just in time for the Community Nursery School’s annual Thanksgiving Concert.

Led by the ironically named Mrs. Gross, tiny students stood in a circle, paper turkeys on their heads, and earnestly belted out the holiday’s anthem.

Run turkey, run turkey, run far away. For soon it will be Thanksgiving Day.

Having seen three of my four children through the two-year nursery school program, Grandpa knew the song well, and could mime the hand motions right along with the performers.

That song ran through my head this past week as I strolled through our property along the Oconto River.

Run Turkey, Run Turkey, Run far away!

My husband, who has taken to turkey hunting with the zeal of a convert, sang a different tune as we spotted random flocks in the cornfield. He favored the concert’s second song.

Turkey dinner, turkey dinner. Gather round. Gather round. Who will eat the drum stick? Yummy Yummy drum stick? All sit down. All sit down.

Generally, I pray for the turkeys during turkey season. At one point during his hunting career, only Molly would eat the meat Vince brought home and even she had second thoughts after last year’s buckshot-filled turkey breast.

This year, he promised he was bringing home a clean bird with a new recipe for cooking it.

I set up a cooking station for him and offered to take pictures, intending to use my zoom to search out any bones or pellets.

Cheerfully, he set about trimming, breading and pan frying the meat. I set the table and Molly made an extra big salad, just in case.

I nibbled skeptically on my first bite, but, I have to say, that meal was delicious.

You only get one turkey tag a season, and I’m only going to shoot them with my camera. So, in our neck of the woods, the turkeys can rest easy for another year.

Meanwhile, here’s the recipe:

Turkey Cutlets 

1 buckshot-free turkey breast

1 cup flour

Three eggs beaten with 1/4 cup milk

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup bottle Italian dressing

1/2 cup canola oil

1/4 cup bacon grease

salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the whole breast in Italian Dressing overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove from marinade, cut into cutlets and pound to 1/4 inch thickness.

Heat oil in cast iron skillet, add bacon grease.

Dredge cutlets in the flour, then egg mixture, then bread crumbs.

Carefully add breaded cutlet to hot oil.

Turn heat down to medium and cook until golden brown on one side (about four to six minutes).

Flip each cutlet and cook for another three or four minutes.

Drain on paper towel and serve.

View from Vince's blind
These unsuspecting birds wandered right up to Vince. The mighty hunter even had time to snap a few cellphone pics before getting down to the serious business of putting food on our table.
Dead bird
It’s a pretty artful display, as these things go. (Photo credit Vince).
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Here’s the breast after a nice 24-hour soak in Italian Dressing.
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I set this station up for Vince and then sat back to watch him work.
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I’ll spare you the hacking into cutlets photos. This is a family blog. Here’s a nice shot of Vince dunking a cutlet into the egg and then…
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Coating it with breadcrumbs.
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Melt a little bacon grease in canola oil. Once it gets nice and hot, turn the heat down to medium.
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Let them sizzle for four to six minutes until they’re golden brown and firm on one side.
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Remove from the pan.
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Drain on paper towels. We kept these in a 200 degree over so they stayed warm while the others were cooking.
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And, Voila! a delicious, easy on the tooth enamel, meal.
Here's Grandpa Fey during one of his trips to the Community Nursery School and that's Vinnie, fresh off a flawless performance of Run Turkey Run!
Here’s Grandpa Fey in 1995, during one of his trips to the Community Nursery School and that’s Vinnie, fresh off a flawless performance of Run Turkey Run!


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