Legs of the Turkey

Another foodie post.  On Sunday night I tried my first turkey leg smoke.  It wasn’t a full on smoke though.  Half smoker and half BBQ.

It looked awesome.  It smelled awesome.  It even tasted great.  I would have done a few things differently though.  More on that later.  For now I will let you feast your eyes as I describe what you see before you.

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Smoked leg of turkey

I decided I didn’t want too much smoke in the meat.  So I did a short smoke and then a short BBQ.  The end result had the looks of anything out of a magazine.  I brined the legs first but only for around 2 hours.  They really needed an overnight brining.  I think that would have improved things.  I also found that the skin on the legs became kind of like leather.  The skin looks so yummy with the spices and the sauce and in the end, we kind of just had to leave it alone.  That part was more than just a little sad.  Next time I’ll pull the skin off, or google how to make the skin more edible and less like jerky.

Another thing I might try is to do a full on cold smoke for like 45 minutes and then do all the cooking on the BBQ.  I think that would end up with a better flavour profile.

One last learning for me was all about the tendons.  Most of you probably know this.  I’m kind of surprised I had no idea how many tendons are in a leg of turkey.  Turkey legs have something like 8 tendons in them.  Unlike a chicken leg, where I have never really noticed much with their tendons as they must render down during cooking more, the turkey has tendons that don’t render and can be best likened to being like huge fish bones.  No one likes picking through fish bones when they eat.

I learned that there is a right way and wrong way to deal with these tendons.  Doing nothing is the wrong way I think.  That’s what I did.  I read a few posts about removing them while the legs were still raw.  I also saw posts about how to remove them after they are cooked.  This is what I tried to do, but there is really no easy way that I could see of doing a full removal of tendons on a fully cooked leg before you serve it.  I suppose you could carve the legs up and serve just meat, but I kind of liked the caveman experience.  In reality there is no really issue with removing them as you eat.  They are too big to choke on.  Still, they are just kind of…irritating.  So next time, I’ll try a raw leg tendon removal.

All in all, it was delicious.

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