i want to eat two turkey legs
November 28, 2011 8:47 AM   Subscribe

what should i do with two turkey legs?

i have two uncooked turkey legs in my freezer and i have no idea what to do with them.
send me your best recipes, please!
posted by sabh to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If I had two uncooked turkey legs, I'd probably turn them into soup stock. The legs have those tendons on them that can make getting the meat off them a bit of a pain.

Brown the legs in a bit of oil and then pull them off the heat.

Put a few quarts of water into a large stock pot, add the legs, a few carrots, onions, some garlic, a couple of bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few hours and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Some recipes, but I never have.

Strain the results and freeze the broth in baggies. We measure it out in one or two-cup increments and then use it whenever a recipe calls for chicken broth. We do a lot of soups in the fall and winter, so it'll definitely get used.

This is actually the fate of any and all poultry carcasses we end up with, by the way, unless the cooking method renders too strong a taste. Smoked turkey and chicken render down a strong, smoky broth which doesn't do well in soups later on (to our taste anyway). Deep fried turkey ends up a bit too greasy. Roasted birds are just right for stock-making.
posted by jquinby at 8:54 AM on November 28, 2011

This Mark Bittman recipe is our favorite - so much so that we save the dark meat from Thanksgiving for this and just roast a rolled, stuffed breast for the holiday. You could either reduce quantities or go get some more dark meat to make it.
posted by leslies at 8:55 AM on November 28, 2011

Seconding the soup suggestion -- turkey legs (and necks, and other "support structures" of the body) are heavily loaded with connective tissue and will thus make stock with excellent "mouth feel" (according to Alton Brown, at least).

Going in a completely different direction, though, if you or someone you know has any raw-fed cats or dogs, turkey drumsticks make for quite a lovely treat. Medium-large dogs can probably handle the whole drumstick -- for my (very spoiled) turkey-loving kitties I used kitchen shears to carve off the tendon-y meat in strips and they were absolutely enthralled with their dinner. :D
posted by aecorwin at 9:01 AM on November 28, 2011

If you have other animal fat lying around (if, for instance, you reserve your duck fat or bacon fat for future use*), you could confit them by slowly cooking them in the fat along with some aromatics.

A quick google search suggests that you can augment the animal fat with olive oil; I don't know whether it is possible to confit solely with olive oil, but I can't think of a reason not to try.

*Note: despite what my wife says, this is totally normal behavior.
posted by gauche at 9:08 AM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Triple nthing the confit. Go get a few more leg quarters and set up a roaster in a slow, slow oven (250-275, if your stove will do it) overnight in the duck fat/bacon fat/aromatics, cool in the fat to room temp, and prepare for the best thing you have ever tasted. No worries about tendons, the meat falls off the bones. Save skin and bones and make stock with those. Save the fat in the freezer.

Make sure you are one of the people who remove the meat from the bones when it's done cooking and cooling, or you won't get to taste it.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 9:18 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

'Some recipes, but I never have?'

What I'd intended to say there was that some recipes call for egg white, but we've never used them in stock.
posted by jquinby at 11:46 AM on November 28, 2011

Wait. Nobody said juggle? I'd spit-roast them on an oak fire, then juggle them while wearing a poet shirt and biggins (for the nostalgia). If successful, I'd then eat them by hand.
posted by zomg at 12:02 PM on November 28, 2011

just to clarify, they are legs only - no thighs.
and i don't eat bacon.
posted by sabh at 1:05 PM on November 28, 2011

Into the stock pot is a good idea. You could also roast them in the usual manner, pull the meat off and use it for taco filling, along with some onions, cilantro, peppers, etc.
posted by Hylas at 1:18 PM on November 28, 2011

I make the Bittman recipe with drumsticks or thighs or both - whatever I've got that's dark meat. You could certainly skip the bacon and use non-pork sausage - turkey or vegan or whatever.
posted by leslies at 7:05 PM on November 28, 2011

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