By Mark Kenyon
Back in Episode #99 of the Wired To Hunt Podcast, in which we were talking turkey hunting, I mentioned that I’d discovered a recipe for wild turkey legs that just knocked my socks off. In fact it was the best recipe I’d ever tried for wild turkey legs. And since that podcast, I’ve gotten a lot of requests from listeners to share the recipe, so I figured I better do that.
Wild turkey legs are notoriously difficult to cook and tough to chew, but this recipe that I found in the Afield cookbook resulted in the most tender and juicy turkey legs I’ve ever eaten by a long shot. I’m talking fall off the bone tender. Here’s the trick to this preparation, per the recipe description; “Turkey legs are relatively large and muscular and need long cooking to break them down. Braising in tomato sauce works for tough cuts because the acid cuts the fatty, sinewy richness and breaks down the muscle structure too.”
That said, I did make one customization. To ensure the most tender final product as possible, my wife and I have taken to brining our wild turkey (whether it’s a breast or leg) no matter what recipe we’re intending on using. That said, we first brined our turkey legs over night, and then followed the instructions at the link below. Here’s a quick summary on preparing a brine from Steven Rinella (adjust measurements for two legs): “For a whole turkey, combine in a large pot: 1 gallon of water, 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, the juice from three lemons and a sliced onion,” Rinella instructed. “Bring this mixture to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar, and then let it cool. Add the turkey to the chilled brine and let it soak for 24 to 48 hours.”
Since I don’t have rights to publish the recipe myself, you’ll have to visit the link below or pick up your own copy of Afield.
Tomato Braised Turkey Legs recipe – Jesse Griffiths (scroll down about 2/3 the way down page)