Instead of the typical turkey, I want something different and fun for Thanksgiving. I've enjoyed smoked turkey legs at fairs and hope you have a recipe for something similar.
— Tina F., via email
For authentic flavor, smoke turkey drumsticks in a grill with woodchips or in another type of smoker. Choose hickory or applewood, soaking the chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Buy the biggest turkey legs you can, no smaller than a half-pound each, or they can be dry.
4 (1/2-pound) turkey drumsticks
Vegetable oil, as needed
1 cup applesauce
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon grated orange or lemon peel
6 tablespoons dark-brown sugar, divided
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Rub the drumsticks all over with the oil. Drain woodchips.
In a pan, whisk the applesauce, onion, cider, vinegar, ketchup, citrus peel and 4 tablespoons of the sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened. Separate sauce into 2 portions for basting and serving.
Combine the spices in a gallon-sized, resealable, plastic bag with remaining sugar; shake. Place 1 drumstick at a time into bag and shake to coat. Remove drumsticks and press in rub.
Following grill or smoker instructions for using woodchips, roast drumsticks over indirect, medium-low heat for about 1 hour, basting with sauce. When done, juices should run clear, and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of drumstick should read 180 F. Serve with sauce. Makes 4 servings.
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