Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks
© Quentin Bacon

Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks


Turkey legs have become a staple of music festivals. These have a sticky ginger glaze.

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  1. 1/3 cup honey
  2. 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
  3. 1 quart plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
  4. 1 medium shallot, minced
  5. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons mirin
  7. 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  8. 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  9. 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (or kecap manis)
  10. 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  11. 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian hot sauce
  12. 4 small turkey drumsticks (about 12 ounces each)
  13. 1/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, chopped
  14. 2 scallions, minced
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the honey and 1 tablespoon of the ginger to a simmer. Let cool, then strain the honey into a bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the shallot and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and the remaining 3 tablespoons of ginger and cook over low heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mirin and vinegar and simmer until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Add both soy sauces and the hoisin and simmer just until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the sambal oelek.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the 1 quart of canola oil to 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Add the drumsticks and fry over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 160°, 20 to 25 minutes; be sure to maintain the oil temperature at 350°. Drain the drumsticks and blot with paper towels.
  4. Transfer the drumsticks to a large bowl and toss to coat with the sauce. In a pie plate, combine the peanuts and scallions. Roll the turkey legs in the peanut-scallion mixture, drizzle with the ginger honey and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy Alsatian Gewürztraminer.