Turkey, the major food in most of the countries, suits all occasions including Christmas to Thanksgiving. The turkey is also popular because of its industrial breeding and amount of meat it produces. It is bred throughout the world. There are dozens of breeds, and commercial marketing has made it common meat source for everyone. Cooking the turkey leg has its own charm as it doesnât need much of a preparation and time.
Cooking turkey leg is not complex as the meat is not as tough as beef. It needs less time for preparation and very lesser marinating as compared to animal meat. Most of the turkeys available in the market are poultry bred, so they have softer muscles needing less tenderization, though cooking a wild turkey takes bit more of the time. Wild turkeys do have a different flavor.
Average time taken ranges from 30-45 minutes at a grill temperature of 350 degrees with indirect heating. Just put some coal to reduce the heat. It all depends on the time spent on marinating. Wild turkey can take up to 50-70 minutes to get properly cooked. The time taken can be reduced if the turkey leg is boiled and then roasted. Major food joints follow boiling and roasting only.
For cooking a turkey leg, you will need a barbeque or an electric home oven. If you are in a picnic then even campfire will do the trick. You might need a cooking grade thermometer if you are cooking for the first time. The basic marinades required are salt, onions, spices and oil.
i. Marinating the meat
Take some butter, salt and bay leaf seasonings. Pour them over the turkey leg. Cut long and deep slits on the meat so that seasoning mix can go deep inside. Wrap it with a plastic and put in a fridge for six hours or may be overnight.
ii. Grilling the meat
Preheat the barbeque to at least 350 degrees. Place some onion rings on the grill and put the turkey leg on it. Put some coal on the barbeque to reduce the heat. It will take around 30-45 minutes to properly grill it. Turn it over every 15 minutes. For cooks of camps using gas grill or campfire, you need to reduce the heating to medium or low, so that the heat doesnât burn the outer skin.
i. Cut deep slices on the meat so that heat and marinade reach the deepest of the meat.
ii. Do not pour seasoning or marinade on grill as it will burn and make your turkey leg all burnt.
iii. If you are new to cooking business then you can use thermometers to check the inside temperature of deepest part of meat. If it reaches 165 Fahrenheit, then it is cooked.
iv. If you are serving a long list of guests, then do boil them before grilling. The time of grilling will be 15 minutes only.
v. Donât burn or overcook it as it will destroy its tenderness.
vi. To check whether cooking is done, you can make incisions on the meat. If colored water is coming it means it is undercooked, and if the water coming out is colorless then it is properly cooked
vii. Do turn it on all sides, so that every side is properly roasted
Frequently asked questions
a. What is the Cooking time?
It’s 30-40 minutes at preheated 340 degrees oven with indirect roasting.
b. What can I serve it with?
You can serve it with Tomato salsa or Green mint chutney.
c. Can it be cooked in campfire?
Yes, indeed. Just make sure the turkey is roasted at a height where flames can’t reach.
d. Can burnt turkey leg be eaten?
Yes, just peel of the burnt skin and you will have whitish pink tender meat for you
e. Which is better: Turkey or Chicken?
Both have equal merits and are good sources of protein.