I met with USA Today reporter Dan Higgins and talked him through cooking turkey legs. This recipe can be adapted to goose, duck, or pheasant legs as well. The trick is be patient and letting the legs simmer away so the tendons break free from the meat. Then you’re free to take it in any number of directions—sandwiches, BBQ, even re-braising for tacos.
Drumsticks from one wild turkey, with or without thighs
2 quarts of well-flavored beef broth (store bought or home-made)
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chunked (optional)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy kettle, bring beef broth to a simmer. Add onion, optional garlic, and bay leaves.
- Add turkey legs. Cook uncovered on lowest possible heat until tendons and meat begin to separate. This will take several hours, and possibly as long as 8, depending on the age and tenderness of the bird.
- When legs reach this state, remove from the heat. Reserve the rich-flavored broth for soup or gravy. Allow the meat to cool.
- Once cool, the meat can be shredded and the tendons removed.
- This tender meat can now be slowly reheated for BBQ or made into sandwiches using your condiment of choice. You can also brown it with cumin, onion, and cilantro, and use in tacos.