If you’ve ever simply breasted out a wild turkey and left behind the legs – or other viable meat for that matter – you are not alone. However, just because you are in the company of many other turkey hunters doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel bad about this wasteful practice. Wild turkey legs are intimidating to some because they are leaner and also contain more tendons than their barnyard relatives’ legs. But, wild turkey legs are incredibly delicious and versatile when prepared properly.
A simple route is to throw the legs in a crock pot to cook them low and slow, but if you are looking to up your turkey-leg game, you can give this “osso buco” recipe a go. It will take the better part of an afternoon, but is a dish that will even wow the stingiest dinner guests.
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Paprika (divided)
Two Turkey Legs (two drums and two thighs)
2-3 medium sized stalks of celery diced
2-3 medium sized carrots diced
½ medium onion diced
3 Roma tomatoes diced with seeds removed
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
2 Bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
1 cup White wine
Fresh parsley garnish (optional)
¼ cup Olive oil
1 medium onion diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
6-8 cups Chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon bourbon smoked paprika
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Wild Turkey “Osso Buco”
Trim, wash and dry the turkey legs before breaking them down. If still connected, separate drums from thighs by sawing both joint ends off each cut of meat (your deer processor may be able to do this for you if you do not want to attempt at home) so the middle of the bone is exposed. Also, trim any meat remaining on the removed pieces of bone. Mix salt, pepper and 1 tsp paprika in with the flour and evenly coat drums, thighs and meat trimmings.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and brown turkey. Once browned on all sides, remove turkey meat and add diced onion, celery and carrots to pot. Season with salt and pepper, add bay leaves, rosemary, remaining teaspoon of paprika, and cook until onions begin to soften.
Add white wine to hot pan, reduce while stirring vegetables, and place meat back in pot. Add chicken stock and tomatoes, reduce heat and place lid on the pot. Cook on low heat until meat becomes tender. This could take as long as 2-3 hours. Remove turkey from sauce and remove lid to reduce sauce. Serve over risotto (recipe below).
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook onions until translucent. In a separate pot, warm chicken stock.
Add rice to the pan with the onion and coat rice with oil while continuing to stir for approx. 1 minute. Add wine to the pan and stir until liquid is gone. Begin to add stock to the rice one ladle at a time, stirring until the rice has absorbed all the stock. Repeat the addition of stock until the rice has reached your desired consistency. Add butter, parmesan cheese, paprika and season to taste with salt.