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How to Stop Wasting Your Turkey Thighs and Drums

Super simple recipe to keep you from just breasting out a bird.

I'm guilty of it, I'll admit it. I tried several recipes, but no matter what I did, I couldn't stand the dark meat of a wild turkey. Eventually and regrettably, I started to just breast out my birds, essentially wasting most of the bird.

The problem with the thighs and drumsticks are that they are just too tough. In most cases, the boots you're wearing are easier to chew than a drumstick. Then the tendons and sinew you have to deal with to even get to the meat. Well, I have solved that problem and all it takes is a crock pot... and Coke.

What you will need:

  • Turkey legs (thigh, drums) the fresher the better
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Coke, Pepsi, or whatever other cola product
Image via My Kitchen

Get you some of that. Take the legs, as you can see I left mine whole on the bone, and coat them in salt and pepper. DO NOT sear the legs; just put them in the crock pot. Cover them in the sauce, then add the secret weapon: your cola product, or root beer, if you prefer. Stir it around until you have a good mix and the soda isn't floating separate from the sauce. The BBQ sauce to coke ratio  should be 4 to 1 or about 5 to 1 depending on if you like sweeter sauce or not.

Cook until the meat falls from the bone. Remove the turkey and start to pull the meat from the bone. Keep an eye out for the flat tendons that are basically like biting into a bone and remove them as well. Put the shredded turkey back into the sauce and mix it up and let it rest a little longer to soak in some flavors. Finally, make BBQ pulled turkey sandwiches that are amazingly tender.

No, the soda is not optional. The soda helps break down and tenderize the meat. It really does make your dark meat tender. The acids in the cola are the best meat tenderizer you can have. Who knew you could pick up cooking lessons from Myth Busters?


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How to Stop Wasting Your Turkey Thighs and Drums