Why Cook Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs?
Wild turkeys run along the ground more often than they take to the air and fly. That is why the muscles in their legs and thighs need to be so strong and well developed. The meat on the wild turkey’s legs and thighs is also quite dark in color.
These parts of the turkeys’ bodies contain blood vessels full of blood. This is what makes the meat a dark color.
Wild turkey legs and thighs that are cooked just the right way are flavorful and have a juicy, tender texture.
What is the Best Way to Cook Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs?
The best way to cook this dark colored meat is slowly. A slow cooker is the best cooking pot to use when cooking wild turkey legs and thighs.
A crockpot is also a good choice, a deer fryer is another option. You may need to cook this meat for four or five hours. By cooking the meat for so long, you will ensure that it is not tough or sinewy.
Cook Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs Slowly for Perfect Results So That the Meat Will Just Fall Off the Bone.
How Much Meat is There on Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs?
A female or hen turkey weighs approximately 5.5 – 11.5 lbs. A male or tom turkey may weigh up to 17 lbs. Some people may wonder how much meat is left on the legs and thighs of a wild turkey after the breast has been removed.
The average weight of the wild turkey’s leg and thigh meat weighed together is 3 lbs. There is plenty of good meat in the legs and thighs. Never discard them in favor of the turkey breast.
When and Why to Eat Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs?
Wild turkey meat is good for you. It does not contain the chemicals that are added to meat from the butcher or supermarket. A wild turkey feeds on insects, grass seeds and acorns. These birds are herbivores who forage for their food.
Wild turkey meat is lean. It does not contain unhealthy fats. Wild turkey meat is high in protein.
You can eat wild turkey meat any time of year. Some companies sell wild turkey meat. It is also possible to hunt wild turkeys in their natural environment. You can try wild turkey legs and thighs at Thanksgiving for something a little bit different.
How to Cook Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs.
It is very important to cook wild turkey legs and thighs slowly. The two best ways to do this are in a slow cooker/crockpot or on the barbecue.
Recipe Number One – Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs Cooked in the Crockpot or Slow Cooker.
- Place 2 or 3 wild turkey legs or thighs in a crockpot. Do not try to remove the tendons first.
- Add 1 chopped onion to the crockpot.
- In a bowl, mix 6 oz. tomato paste, 1.5 cups or white wine, beer OR apple juice, 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic.
- Add some salt, black pepper or your other favorite seasonings.
- Pour this mixture into the crockpot.
- Cook on the HIGH setting for 4-5 hours. Check to see when the meat is falling off the bone easily.
- When the turkey legs and thighs are cooked, remove them from the crockpot and let them cool down.
- When the meat is cool enough remove the bones, ligaments and tendons.
The meat from the wild turkey legs and thighs is now ready to be added to sandwiches, stews or salads.
Recipe Number Two – Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs Cooked on the Barbecue.
- Rub a mixture of olive oil, black pepper and sea salt into 4 turkey legs or thighs.
- Heat the barbecue’s grates to a low heat.
- Rub the grates with olive oil.
- Place the turkey legs or thighs onto the barbecue and cook them for approximately 90 minutes.
- While the meat is cooking, turn it every five minutes. Watch to see that the skin does not burn.
- If the skin is burning, move the turkey legs and thighs to the side of the grille where the heat is lower.
- Baste the meat with butter if it starts to look too dry.
- After 90 minutes, test the temperature inside the meat with a cooking thermometer.
- The meat must reach the temperature of 170° F before you remove it from the barbecue.
- Once the meat has been cooked right through it can be served covered with gravy or with a garlic butter sauce. The barbecued meat from the wild turkey legs and thighs goes well in a pulled turkey sandwich.
In Conclusion…Now That You’ve Tried Cooking Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs.
You must agree that Wild Turkey Legs and Thighs are delicious. The meat is rich and flavorsome. It tastes a little bit different to the breast meat.
If you like camping, you can try smoking wild turkey legs and thighs in a smoker. Just remember to smoke the meat nice and slowly. Why? Because wild turkey legs and thighs are best cooked slowly. By cooking them slowly, you bring out their unique, full-bodied flavor.