recipes for parts (thigh, drum, wing) from VERY large turkey?


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
So, my beautiful Larry (rest in peace, he was a turkey among turkeys) dressed out to 30 lbs of skinless parts. Parts which are MASSIVELY huge, and also not as young or underexercised as storeboughten turkey (he was a 5 month old commercial bronze, free range or pastured or whatever you want to call it). Each thigh alone is the size of a medium sized pot roast!

Who has experience (not theory, experience) cooking separate parts of a large somewhat-more-mature turkey? What recipes do you recommend? COULD I use his thighs for potroast, or what?

I would appreciate all advice, as he was a great turkey and I do not want to waste any of the meat by miscooking and ruining it.


For a not-so-tender bird, I would recommend that you cook the parts in a pressure cooker. It really makes the meat very tender. Then you can shred, chunk, or chop the meat into sizes that you will use in your favorite recipes:
~ shredded meat - mix with salsa, enchilada sauce or taco seasonings for enchiladas or flautas; mix with BBQ sauce for serving on buns
~ chunks - freeze as chunks double wrapped for slicing for sandwiches, Hot Browns with gravy, warmed and served with dressing and gravy, or your favorite casserole [chunks will keep better frozen and not dry out as much as slices]
~ chopped - to add to soups or make turkey pot pie or turkey tettrazini

Just be sure to double wrap the turkey meat after cooking it: wrap well in foil or plastic wrap and then put in a heavy freezer zip bag or FoodSaver vacuum it. The uncooked turkey pieces will keep longer frozen than the cooked meat; again, double wrap always!
Forgot to say that I pressure cooked a pasture-raised chicken recently when a friend confided to me that her chicken (from the same supplier) was quite tough after being roasted - so I decided to use my pressure cooker. It was fall off the bone tender and I had some good stock to make chicken & rice soup.
I have experience with wild turkeys which tend to dry out and be very tough if not cooked properly.

I like to wrap the boneless breasts in thick cut bacon and roast them with sliced tart apples- it keeps them from drying out and adds a nice smokey flavor.

The legs and thighs I like to use for turkey stew and soup - my wife will take some of the meat out of the soup pot mix it with homemade gravy and serve it over thick cut toast! Yummy.

Remember if it doesn't come out good you can always throw it in a stock pot with all the bones an onion, celery stalk, and a clove of garlic, simmer it all day adding water as necessary and make a nice fresh turkey stock

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom