At the Holiday Season, one common complaint I get is that turkey is about as flavorful as the brown paper bag you brought it home in. Well, unless you go well-armed into the wild to bag your own free range turkey, chances are that you have just purchased a commercially produced bird designed to grow fast and weigh as much as possible. So, I am not going to argue with people looking for more flavor.
Turkey also has a reputation for turning out dry after all those hours of baking/roasting. Of course, I have been subjected to a few of these so not arguing with that complaint either. Since I am not arguing, what am I suggesting? Well, let’s drop the idea of the traditional turkey being baked. Suggestion one is the smoked turkey. If you have a good smoker (or know someone), this is a great variation from the old standard.
For the more adventurous, there is always the deep fried turkey. Needless to say, there are a few safety concerns with this version. Just a helpful hint, do a safety run of putting the turkey in the fryer before you turn on the heat just to make sure you have the oil level correct. Just saying, you might want to avoid setting the backyard on fire with flaming oil.
I have a different suggestion for you today, boiling and marinated wings and legs. Yes, I said boiled. If you prefer, we will be blanching. If blanching is not fancy enough for you, we will be starting a pot au feu. I like calling it what it is, boiled.
So, you are at the store and there they are, wings and legs. Let’s face it, they are the fun parts of the turkey and being the dark meat, also the parts with the most flavor. So, get the big stockpot. You should be able to cover the bird parts with water.
Here is where you get to start playing with the end results. Add a level of spice to the water you would like infused throughout the turkey. Now, over a medium heat, gently boil your wings and legs for about an hour. Leave the pot covered and let it sit over night. All that flavorful goodness has all night to make sure your turkey parts will be a hit. If you are feeling kids table versus grownup table, make two batches flavored to different levels or completely different.
Now, a couple of hours before serving, lay the turkey legs and wings out on a baking pan(s) with the most skin up and into the oven they go at a roasting heat until the skin has a nice finish on it. There you, turkey legs and wings worth fighting over.