Unlike the fine breast meat of wild turkeys, the legs and thighs are typically tough and sinewy. But with proper preparation, they can still be just as tasty. One great solution? Turkey meatballs and spaghetti. (You can also use duck or goose legs with this recipe.)
2 shallots, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 lb deboned turkey leg and thigh
4 oz ground pork
1 tbsp minced fresh sage
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt and black pepper to taste
Sauté shallots and garlic in butter over medium heat until it’s softened. Pulse turkey meat in a food processor until ground.
In a bowl, combine shallots, garlic and turkey with remaining ingredients, and gently form mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs (makes 12 to 15). Bake in a 350°F oven until meatballs begin to brown (about 20 minutes), then simmer in your favourite tomato sauce for 15 minutes.
Serve over spaghetti. A green salad and a few slices of crusty ciabatta complete the meal.
Keeping with the Italian theme, a nice glass of Chianti goes perfectly with spaghetti and turkey meatballs.
Since turkey legs and thighs have very little fat, it’s best to add some ground fatty pork to help keep the meatballs juicy. If you don’t eat pork, you can use fat saved from cooking domestic chickens or turkey instead. Two or three tablespoons should be ideal.