Turkey Heart-Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers
I'm a big fan of using every edible part of my wild game, including turkeys. Hunters who only keep the breast meat from their birds are missing out on some of the tastiest parts, including the legs, thighs, heart, liver and gizzard.
Turkey hearts are a particular favorite around here. Tender, meaty and delicious, they can be grilled, fried or sautéed. For this recipe, we slice the hearts top to bottom, marinate them, and then stuff them into a hollowed-out jalapeño pepper. For added flavor, we pipe the pepper full of herbed cream cheese and wrap it with a slice of Uncle John's Pride Realtree bacon before grilling.
3-4 wild turkey hearts, sliced vertically into halves (small hearts) or quarters (large hearts)
6-9 jalapeño peppers with tops, seeds and veins removed
1 block cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6-9 slices bacon
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
Start by trimming any fat from the surface of the heart. Slice the hearts vertically (top to bottom) in half. If the hearts are too large for your peppers, slice again into quarters. Mix the marinade ingredients well in a bowl, then add the hearts and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Remove the tops from the peppers. Use a paring knife to remove the seeds and ribs from the inside of the pepper (wear gloves to keep the oil off your hands, if desired).
With either a stand or hand mixer, blend the room-temperature cream cheese, parmesan, dried herbs, pepper and minced garlic. Blend well until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into a 1-gallon zip-style plastic bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag.
Insert a piece of marinated turkey heart into a pepper.
Use a pair of scissors to snip off a small corner of the bag. Squeeze the bag to pipe the seasoned cream cheese from the opening into the pepper, filling around the heart.
Wrap the bacon around the outside of the pepper, starting at the bottom and working your way up, overlapping the wraps to hold the bacon on the pepper. Secure the bacon at the top with a toothpick.
Place the peppers on your pre-heated Traeger Grill at 350 degrees. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked and peppers are soft.