Turkey legs don't get nearly the credit that they deserve. And, I must admit that for the longest time, I used to throw some serious shade at this part of the bird. For years, all that we spoke about was how they're not like a Thanksgiving bird and since they run, they're super tough and full of tendons, blah, blah, blah. And despite all of these things being true, the one thing that wasn't ever discussed was cooking them a different way. You're right, it's not a Thanksgiving turkey, so don't cook it like one to start! Do y'all see where I'm going with this?
I've stewed them, braised them and cooked them low and slow for hours and have been really happy with the turn out. In the end, it comes down to breaking down the meat and separating everything from any chewy tendons left inside. From there, the options are almost endless on how to use this meat.
Now, here in Texas we're about a month away from the kickoff to a brand new spring turkey season, and I assure you that no one is more excited than I am. Being at camp on crisp spring days chasing longbeards is something that's just plain ol' good for the soul. Isn't it? And, since we're able to hunt gobblers all day during the spring season, a good camp lunch is always required to keep everyone focused on killing that afternoon strutter. So pack up your Instant Pot and bring it to camp this spring-- this recipe is perfect for turkey camp lunches.
Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Turkey Leg Tacos
2 turkey legs, skin on(if you have it!)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock or game stock(my duck stock recipe is here)
1/2 apple, sliced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Red onion, sliced for topping
Fresh cilantro, torn for topping
Mix together all of the dried spices together, along with the light brown sugar. Once throughly mixed, season the turkey legs well on both sides. Heat up your Instant Pot on the sauté setting and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, add the turkey to the pot, lightly browning it on both sides. Remember, there is sugar in the rub, so be careful not to burn it! After 3-4 , minutes, add the apples and cook for another minute. At this point, it's time to add the liquid. Add the fresh lime juice and stock to the pot, cover and secure the lid. Set the pressure cooking timer for 35 minutes.
Turn on your broiler(or you can use a hot pan to crisp up the skin).
After 35 minutes, allow to naturally release. Remove the legs from the pot and place under the broiler for 5 minutes to let the skin crisp up. If you don't have access to a broiler, a hot pan works great with a touch of oil in it. Pull the meat and skin from the legs and assemble your tacos. 2 legs makes about 4 tacos.