Instead of leaving the legs and thighs from your turkey in the woods this spring, try one of these recipes
I'm always sad when I hear hunters say they leave the legs and thighs from their wild turkeys behind when they kill a longbeard. That's about half the meat on a turkey. Thing is, most of these hunters would never dream of killing a deer and taking only the backstraps and maybe a ham, leaving the rest. But for some reason, many consider turkeys somehow different and don't think twice about leaving half their birds behind.
Here's what makes this even harder to take: Turkey legs and thighs taste great. Sure, they do a lot of work for the birds, so they aren't as tender as the breast meat, but a lot of hunters say they have even more flavor.
Turkey legs and thighs benefit from low and slow cooking methods like simmering or braising in liquid. You can also bone them out and grind them for sausage or burgers on the grill. Either way, they are good eats.
This year, keep all of your hard-earned gobbler and try some of these recipes.
Popular across all of West Africa, this hearty stew features one or more of the many ground nuts found across the region. Since we don't see many of the more traditional ground nuts in our area, we substitute smooth peanut butter for the flavor. The stew isn't sweet, but the peanut butter gives the finished dish an earthy, nutty flavor. Recipe link below:
This classic green Mexican pozole is made with salsa verde, tomatillos, and hominy instead of the tomatoes in the traditional red version. The flavor is bright and vibrant, with just a bit of heat from the pepper. It's the perfect way to make use of an often wasted part of a wild turkey. Recipe link below:
One of our favorite things to do with turkey legs and thighs is to cook them with chicken broth and Mexican seasonings in our Weston Realtree slow cooker. The result? Several cups of flavorful, shredded wild turkey that works perfectly for tacos, sandwiches, or these green chile and cream cheese wild turkey enchiladas. Recipe link below:
We've talked a lot about slow cooking wild turkey legs and thighs to make them tender and delicious, but the rich, dark meat is perfect for grinding as well. This breakfast sausage blends ground turkey leg meat with Team Realtree Bacon to get just the right fat-to-lean recipe for a good patty.
Like a lot of our wild turkey leg recipes, this one starts in our Weston Realtree slow cooker. The turkey pieces go in, bones and all, with red enchilada sauce, some roasted green chile peppers, and a few spices to slowly simmer all day while you are at work or out doing something fun.
Jjimdak is a Korean stew normally made with braised chicken. We substituted wild turkey legs and thighs (two leg and thigh sections, one turkey's worth) that had spent the day in the slow cooker with 12 ounces of chicken broth. You can cook the turkey up to three days in advance of making the stew. Just pick the meat from the bones and store in a covered dish or zip-style bag in the refrigerator.
We call this one Walter's wild turkey barbecue. Good friend and hunting buddy Travis, known to everyone in camp as Walter (long story), brings a batch of his turkey BBQ to camp each fall. We reheat it on the smoker while everyone is out for the morning hunt. A wild turkey barbecue sandwich makes a fine lunch when everyone rolls back into camp.