Flame-seared sous vide turkey legs with carrot-scallion sauce

OK, so this isn’t exactly a dish you should try to bang out in an evening, although it also doesn’t involve slaving over a hot stove all day. That being said, there are a few moving parts.

You could certainly bake the turkey legs if you don’t have sous vide equipment (check the instructions on the packaging), but grilling to finish the turkey legs is an absolute must.

We just recently discovered turkey drumsticks in the grocery store — and at $3.99/pound, they’ll probably end up in our regular repertoire after this dish. We’re always looking for ways to use cuts of meat that most people ignore. They tend to be cheaper, and it’s better that someone eat them than they end up in the landfill. Plus, a lot of these cuts are even more tasty than the “easy to cook” cuts are. They’re “harder” to cook because they’re full of bones, fat and skin — the exact things that make them so tasty if you cook them correctly. Why settle for a boneless, skinless chicken breast at $7.99/pound when you can get more flavor from a chicken quarter at $4.99/pound, for example? If you’re willing to put in a little extra effort, you can have a unique gourmet meal from something most people just pass over at the meat counter.

As always with sous vide dishes, I used our Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller tied to a 22-quarter roaster oven. We have a grill with an open-flame burner (the other burners are all traditional, covered burners), but you could use a regular gas grill pre-heated nice and hot if you don’t have that option.

What you’ll need for 2-4 people:

  • 2-4 turkey drumsticks (we used Jennie-O Turkey Store drumsticks)
  • A pinch of onion powder
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • A pinch of paprika
  • Salt
  • 4 medium carrots, grated
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Juice from 1 lemon

What to do:

  1. Preheat your sous vide water bath to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Dust each turkey leg with a pinch of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt, then seal in a vacuum bag.
  3. Cook the sealed turkey drumsticks in the water bath for at least 8 hours.
  4. 30 minutes or so prior to serving, begin the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. Sauté the grated carrots and chopped scallions in the butter for five minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Slowly stir in the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.
  7. Stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter, then move to a warm burner to hold while you sear the turkey drumsticks.
  8. Preheat your gas grill or flame burner on high for 10 minutes, getting the grill piping hot.
  9. Sear the turkey drumsticks for a couple of minutes on each side until nicely browned.
  10. Spoon the sauce over the drumsticks and serve.

Related posts:

  1. Steak sous vide with corn-jalapeno hash
  2. The Joy of Sous Vide
  3. Fried sous vide egg yolk salad
  4. Easy steak in brown ale sauce
  5. Panko-breaded chicken breast with honey-mustard sauce

About the Author

Owner of a graphic design firm specializing in magazine design and wannabe chef. Former resident of Belgium, the United Kingdom and...North Dakota.