Foolproof Turkey Legs on the Grill
By Andrew Zimmern
In this episode of Wild Game Kitchen, I’m sharing a genius technique for butchering and grilling butterflied turkey legs over an open fire, an easy way to ensure the meat is cooked perfectly without drying it out. To compliment the richness of the meat, I’m serving the turkey legs with a bright, lemony carrot orzo and creamed greens topped with crunchy, cheesy breadcrumbs.
Grilled Butterflied Turkey Legs with Lemon Orzo
Grilled Turkey Legs
- 6 turkey legs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red hot chile flakes, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Apple juice, for grilling
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced fine
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound dried orzo
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
Butterfly the legs by running a knife laterally down the bone and Frenching the bottom and top of the leg. This allows them to lay flatter on the grill and char superbly.
To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, orange juice, vinegar, chile flakes and salt in a medium bowl. Place the turkey legs in a 2-gallon Zip Loc bag and add the marinade. Place in the fridge and marinate for a minimum of 24 hours.
Remove, and use any remaining marinade to baste during first 10 minutes of cooking only. Grill over high direct heat for about 10 minutes a side, using some apple juice in a spray bottle to fight any flames off and making sure to have a cooler area on your grill to move the legs to as needed.
Melt the butter in a medium dutch oven or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until glassy. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and carrots. Cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove lid, stir and mix in the herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and some sea salt, stir a few times and replace lid. Let rest for a few minutes and serve.