Maximizing Your Turkey Meat

Maximizing Your Turkey Meat

Each time I harvest a turkey I am always in awe as to how much meat can be pulled from the breasts. I take an ungodly amount of time to breast out my birds as I like to get as much meat as possible.

I mean, these birds are NOT easy to come by so I want to make sure that bird goes as far as possible! Two breasts from a large tom will result in 5-6 vacuum-packed 2-person portions for the freezer.moss-maximizing meat turkey hunt 

That’s a lot of bird right there!

However, when I look at the overall size of the carcass, I began to feel like there was so much more to do with it.

Over the years I have tried taking the drumsticks to cook off on the smoker. I have always been disappointed in the outcome, finding them tough and chewy and full of tendons.

I have pressure cooked the legs as well but found it hard to get the tendons adequately removed during the process.

This year I decided to take it old school when it came to processing the legs from my spring turkey. I pulled both legs and cut them off at the lower leg joint.

Making sure to remove all skin and feathers, I then washed the legs and put them in my slow cooker.

I opted to season them with lemon pepper and kept the water level fairly high so there was little or no exposed meat.

I kept them at low heat for 12 hours and let them cool to room temperature.

And the result? Wow. Just wow.

moss-maximizing meat shredded

The meat literally fell from the bones and the tendons were easy to pluck. The result? Over 1 lb of shredded turkey that I froze for a pot of soup at a later date! One more meal processed from my spring bird.

Lastly, here is another hack you can use to maximize the meat from your bird. Take a fine knife and whittle away any bits of meat you can from the neck and back. Even take the heart. All of these can be thinly sliced and thrown in the dehydrator to make organic dog treats.

So there you have it. If you take a little extra time, you can indeed utilize as much meat from your turkey as possible. So now get out there and get to it!

About the Author

Kirstie Pike

Kirstie Pike is the founder and CEO of Prois Hunting & Field Apparel for Women, the leading edge for women’s performance hunting gear for nine years and running.
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