Me with meat pounder/tenderizer

Nobody in my family eats the drumsticks. They look cute on the turkey, but I usually wind up throwing them away. A few years ago I came upon a solution.

This is a lot of work and a big mess, so I don’t do this very often, but I decided to make this delicious dish for this years Thanksgiving feast. You have to do this a day or two before the big Turkey Day, because you will be making broth for the stuffing and the gravy out of the pieces you are not using for this dish.

The end result is perfect little turkey rolls made out of the meat from the drumstick. stuffed and rolled like little egg rolls and roasted. Here is how you do it.

First you have to cut the drumsticks off the turkey. This is best done by cutting a slit up the back of the leg through the skin. Do not cut into the skin on the front of the drumstick. You will leave this big piece of skin that once covered the drumsticks, attatched to the turkey and sort of tuck it around. Otherwise you will have two huge gaping holes in your turkey.

Bend the legs backward and cut off at the joint. You now have two skinned drumsticks. Cut along the bone with a sharp knife and separate the meat from the bones. You will have a piece of meat about 3 inches by 6 inches. Cut this into thirds. Now you have six little rectangles of meat. But wait, there are all these white tendons sticking out all over and on the backside a tough membrane all over the meat.

Cut out all the tendons and membrane with a scissors and a sharp knife. Then take the meat pounder and give each piece a few whacks on both sides. If you don’t have a meat pounder, you can use the back of a heavy knife.

I told you this makes a big mess.

Now put the six little rectangles of meat back inside the turkey cavity to rest with the seasonings that you have rubbed all over the inside and outside of your turkey. (I use a lot of fresh thyme, crumbled all over and under the skin).

At this point you can make your turkey broth. Take all the drumsticks, meat shreds, neck and the ‘pope’s nose’ and bring to a boil. All this brown scum will appear on the top of the water. Drain and rinse off the meat and bones.

In a clean pot pour some olive oil and stir a chopped up onion, carrot, parsnip and two cloves of garlic. Add the meat and bones and two mason jars full of water. Season with salt and a dash of cinnamon. Boil for a couple of hours, strain and pour into two mason jars.

Refrigerate and the next day remove the layer of fat from the top of the broth. Voila. Fat free broth to use in your stuffing and gravy.

When you make your stuffing, lay the six meat rectangles on a piece of waxed paper, spoon some stuffing on each one, roll and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil.

Roast around the turkey or on a separate pan. It only takes an hour or so to cook these and they make great  pre dinner snacks with drinks.

If you cut each of the six rolls in half, you can eat two now and still have ten on a plate to serve to your guests. I guarantee even those who say they don’t like ‘dark meat’ will love these.