Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smoky Turkey Legs


Turkey legs are a tasty and economical cut that can be used in place of the pulled chicken, duck, pork and beef listed in most recipes. I suggest using it for pulled turkey nachos, sandwiches, quesadillas, savory pies and soups. I have not used any oil or butter in this recipe because the fat on the turkey will render and provide enough to prevent sticking.

Ingredients
2 (1.375 kg/3 pounds) turkey legs
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse and pat dry the turkey legs with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, Italian seasoning and salt. Rub the turkey legs with the spice mixture.

In a large ovenproof skillet, roast uncovered turkey legs for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches between 165°F - 180°F at the thickest section of the leg. The dark meat of the legs will be safe to eat at 165°F and remain moist until about 180°F. Allow the legs to cool slightly before deboning.

Discard the skin and fat from the legs. The bones can be used for turkey stock. Freeze them if you don't have time to make the stock straight away.

Serves 4

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Suggested uses:
Barbecue nachos are popular on restaurant menus in the South. An easy home version is simply to layer tortilla chips with shredded cheese. Melt the cheese over the chips under a broiler for a quick few minutes. Top with lettuce, pulled turkey and my salsa fresca. Lightly drizzle your favorite hickory barbecue sauce over the top of the nachos.


I really love barbecue brisket sandwiches topped with creamy coleslaw. One of our home favorites is to mix pulled turkey with barbecue sauce and top with a simple coleslaw or a broccoli coleslaw, such as this one from Ellie Krieger. Serve it open face on half of a toasted burger bun if you like.

Substitute this pulled turkey in some of my other recipes, such as:
Chicken tortilla soup

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