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Wild Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

Turn the legs and thighs into comfort food for a chilly spring night.

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Wild turkey legs and thighs often get an undeserved bad rap for being tough and stringy. While these portions of flavorful dark meat may not lend themselves to roasting or frying like the breast, they make a savory soup that’s perfect for those cold evenings during the early part of the spring season. A two-stage, low-and-slow approach removes the tendons, sinew and chewy membranes from the good stuff and tenderizes the meat.

There is nothing difficult about making this wild-game version of a classic comfort food, but figure on it taking at least five hours to prepare. Cutting the simmer time short will rob the stock of flavor and lead to tough turkey. Kill a bird in the morning, get the stock going by noon, and enjoy the soup for supper. Alternatively, prepare the stock and meat one day, and make the soup the next. Either way, a gobbler’s legs and thighs will no longer take a back seat to the bird’s breast meat.

How to Make This Wild Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

Serves: 8
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

  • Legs and thighs from one wild turkey
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 large onions
  • 2 lb. carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 14-16 cups water
  • 1-3 bay leaves
  • 2-4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 24 oz. egg noodles

Directions:

  1. Set aside 4 carrots, 3 celery stalks and 1 onion for soup. Roughly chop remaining vegetables and garlic for stock.
  2. Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat in large stockpot. When garlic starts to brown, reduce heat to low and add chopped onions. Cover with 2-3 cups water.
  3. Remove skin from legs and thighs, and separate drumsticks from thighs at joint. Place drumsticks and thighs into pot.
  4. Add chopped carrots and celery to pot, and cover with remaining water. Season with salt and pepper, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Cover pot and simmer on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. While stock simmers, prepare the vegetables that were set aside earlier for soup. Slice carrots and celery, and chop onion.
  6. Skim foam from top of stock that formed during simmering. Remove drumsticks and legs, and strain stock into second pot. Discard cooked vegetables and herbs.
  7. Add fresh carrots, celery and onion to stock. Simmer about 5 minutes while tending to meat.
  8. Pull drumstick and thigh meat from bones, removing all tendons, sinew and membranes. Chop meat into bite-size chunks, and return to stock. Add egg noodles and cook till noodles and vegetables start to become tender, about 10 minutes.

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