Popper-Style Whole Wild Turkey Breast
Bacon-wrapped wild game meat gets a bum rap from many wild game lovers these days. They sometimes claim the bacon is a crutch, that it overpowers the flavor of the wild game. Here's the thing: Bacon tastes pretty good. And it helps keep wild game from drying out on the grill. Bacon-wrapped popper-style game meat, be it duck, dove, venison, or wild turkey, is always a crowd favorite.
In fact, the only downside to feeding a big group with poppers is the prep time it takes to make enough to feed everyone. You can get the same flavor on a large scale with less time in the kitchen by doing an entire turkey breast, popper-style, before cooking it on your Traeger Grill for lots of wood-fired flavor.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 to 2 seeded and diced jalapenos or 1/2 cup jarred jalapeno slices, chopped
1 side of a wild turkey breast
2 tablespoons Traeger Chicken Rub
Salt and black pepper to taste
One 8-ounce block of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce
1 pound sliced bacon
Start by adding the oil to a skillet and sautéing the onions and peppers over medium heat until the onions are soft and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Starting about halfway up one side, slice mostly through the turkey breast, cutting parallel to the board. Don't slice all the way through. Fold the turkey breast open like a book. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Traeger Chicken Rub over the meat. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
Spread the mixture down the center of the turkey. Fold the breast closed over the cream cheese filling.
Weave the bacon into a mat: Lay half of the slices side by side vertically on a cutting board. Weave the remaining slices horizontally in and out of the vertical slices to form a woven mat. Set the turkey breast along one side of the bacon and stretch the woven mat over the turkey, tucking it in at the bottom so that the turkey is fully enclosed in bacon.
Place the turkey on your preheated Traeger Grill at 225 degrees with the Supersmoke function (if equipped) turned on. Smoke for 2 hours. Increase the temperature to 275 degrees for 1 more hour or until the thickest part of the turkey reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit on a digital thermometer.
Allow the turkey to rest, lightly tented with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.