There were a ton of recipes for chicken lollipops so I wondered why not Turkey.
My daughter said what I have been thinking for years but tradition has been standing in my way... "I HATE THANKSGIVING FOOD"!
I also hate THE ENTIRE TURKEY left over, left-overs sitting in the frig for days and days! When you get down to making soup with the left overs you have become complacent with holidays foods. Thus... turkey drumstick lollipops . . . it’s a bit of work to make them but the results are so worth the effort and time it takes.
Consequently, don’t wait for your next Renaissance Faire event to try them out because they are unique, and most importantly, delicious.
There is something Robin Hood-ish about chomping down on a jumbo turkey leg. Imagine the Merry Men in the kitchen with a roaring fire roasting their big juicy turkey legs while plotting against the Sheriff of Nottingham. You’ll be amply rewarded as the end result of the turkey meat and bacon combination is amazingly delicious.
The step by step instructions and photos below take you through the process of making them. Plan about 10-12 minutes prep time for each leg and always be sure your knife is facing away from you and your hands. You’ll need a sharp boning knife and some culinary pliers. If you don’t have culinary pliers, a pair of regular pliers is fine provided you thoroughly clean them of any garage gunk first. Use some paper towels to help grip the turkey drumstick skin so you can pull it off. There are about 10 tendons and thin bone sticks that need to be removed so you can sink your teeth into it without biting into tendons or bone. I left the end uncut as it’s too thick to chop off unless you have a huge meat cleaver or hacksaw. I think the exposed uncut end-bone works well with the medieval theme. You will experience a turkey leg like you have never had before. Because you’ve taken these extra steps and every bite will be free of most things that get in the way because you’ve pulled them out to make these bacony, juicy, and moist turkey lollipops. Once you chow them down, wait for the coma-inducting tryptophan and serotonin in the turkey to kick in. Your eyelids will be getting sleepy, very sleepy.
Turkey legs, uncooked
4-6 slices of bacon per leg (depending on leg size)
Poultry rub/Garlic powder/Paprika OR Old Bay (mixed for rub)
Pull back on the skin of the turkey leg while using a boning knife to gently separate it from the meat. Once you’ve pulled it back to about an inch from the end, don’t bother taking it off yet, just go to the next step.
Gently work the skin back towards that small bone-end
Leave the skin on so you’ll have a “handle” to pull it off
There are 3 bone blades towards the thin end of the drumstick. Work the boning knife below them between them and the meat, cutting them loose.
Make a cut around the bone as shown in the photo below, just below the big ball of the meat. Keep cutting around in circles a few time giving it a little pressure (make sure to tilt knife away from hand slightly in case you slip the knife will go away from you instead of towards you).
After doing this, work the knife under each tendon & bony sticks, cutting upwards (and away) severing them all. Start scraping the bone (with the knife tilted away from you) towards the thin end pushing down all the fragments of meat, tendons, skin, etc.. as shown.
Use a wad of about 2 to 3 sheets of paper towels to grab the slippery skin and the rest. Pull it off the end of the turkey bone. It probably won’t fully come off. This is where you start twisting it over and over until it comes off.
Use the boning knife (cutting away from you always) to work most of the bits off to scrape down to the bone.
Then use the pliers to grab any small pieces in crevices.
The drumstick should now look like this:
Now that we are done with all that, we need to remove all the tendons and bony sticks from the other end. Do this with the pliers and the knife when needed.
Some tendons/sticks will come right out with no real meat on them.
A couple will come out with a tiny amount of disposable meat on them.
Then there are a couple that will start pulling out large portions of meat when you tug on them with the pliers; this is where you start using your boning knife to scrape the meat away from the tendon you are pulling on—eventually it will separate with the tendon coming out and the meat remaining on the drumstick.
Then there is a huge thick bony stick that sits right down tight next to the main bone. Work the boning knife between the two slicing down as far as you can go without cutting into the ball of the meat.
Once that is free then use the pliers and go down into the ball of meat as far as you reasonably can and break that large bony stick down there that you just separated from the main bone.
Scrape the bone downwards off the bone towards the ball and remove the fragments.
Push the meat down into a ball. The result should look like the following.
Season with SYD chicken rub.
Wrap in bacon and toothpick where needed.
Season again with SYD chicken rub.
Smoke or Barbecue in your at 350F until an internal temp of 165F. About an hour to 1:20 depending on size of lollipops.
Allow to cool a bit and then remove all the toothpicks
Glaze with your favorite barbecue sauce and serve with the sides of your liking