We’ve smoked, roasted, braised and stewed wild turkey legs and thighs. Many recipes, countless methods and one way to cook this flavorful dark meat still stands above them all – slow cooking. Because turkeys spend most of their time running around on the ground, their legs and thighs are sinewy. Unless you want to spend a lot of time separating out all the meat from the tendons and ligaments, throw this part of the bird into the crock pot. The meat stays moist, absorbs flavors and becomes incredibly tender when cooked “low & slow.”
While turkey breast meat is incredibly versatile and can be substituted for virtually any chicken recipe, the legs and thighs are more of a challenge. For this reason, I prefer not to cook my wild turkey whole. Sure it can be done but many times the leg & thigh meat will dry out and remain sinewy. It still works great for stock & soup but the meat is much more enjoyable when cooked in the crock pot. Surprisingly, an average tom will yield over 1.5 pounds of cooked leg and thigh meat. Once cooked, this meat is very versatile and can be added to any foods from spaghetti to burritos to “pulled pork style” sandwiches. Tomato-based flavor combinations are endless – try the recipe below or just check in your refrigerator. If you have some turkey legs and thighs that need cooking, grab the BBQ, taco, enchilada, curry or marinara sauce and toss it all in the slow cooker. Cook on high 5-6 hours or until turkey meat falls off of the bones. Be sure to discard all bones and cartilage before adding meat to your dish.
- 2-3 turkey thighs & legs
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced
- 1 4.5-ounce can green chilies, diced
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 cup white wine or beer
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
Place turkey meat in slow cooker/crock pot. Add remaining ingredients. Stir in spices. Cook on “HIGH” heat 5-6 hours or until meat falls from bone.
For more great turkey recipes, visit my website www.tiffanyhaugen.com to order my most recent book, Cooking Game Birds.