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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks (Slow Cooker or Not) Recipe
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    Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks (Slow Cooker or Not)

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    4 hrs 40 mins

    40 mins

    4 hrs

    duonyte's Note:

    This is from Food and Wine, Jan 2011. The original recipe was for deep-frying, something I don't normally do. So I adapted the recipe for the crockpot. This was eaten with great gusto by my picky eater. I know the sodium count is sky-high, but see the note - I used only 1/4 of the total soy sauce shown, which was plenty and which reduces the sodium significantly.

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    Units: US | Metric

    Final Sauce

    Main Sauce


    • 3 lbs small turkey drumsticks (four 12 ounce pieces)
    • canola oil, about 1 quart if deep-frying (optional)


    • 1/4 cup dry roasted salted peanut, chopped
    • 2 scallions, minced


    1. 1
      Note: I made only two drumsticks but the entire Main Sauce and did not bother with the final sauce. I felt that we had enough sauce, but it might not be quite enough for 4 servings, as the original recipe indicates.
    2. 2
      Final Sauce (do this first if you are deep-frying, otherwise you can make this while the turkey is crocking). 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.
    3. 3
      Main Sauce: 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.
    4. 4
      Add the garlic and the remaining 3 tablespoons of ginger and cook over low heat until softened, about 2 minutes.
    5. 5
      Stir in the mirin and vinegar and simmer until slightly reduced, 2 minutes.
    6. 6
      Add both soy sauces and the hoisin and simmer just until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. (Note: I used about 1 1/2 tbl soy sauce total for the full recipe of this sauce and it was plenty for me).
    7. 7
      Stir in the sambal oelek.
    8. 8
      If using crockpot, heat some oil in a skillet and brown the turkey well on all sides - about 20 minutes.
    9. 9
      Place the drumsticks in a crockpot - I used a 3 1/2 qt crockpot for two drumsticks, with the meaty end at the bottom and the ends towards the top. Pour over the Main Sauce, cover, and cook on Low for about 4 hours - exact time will depend on your crockpot.
    10. 10
      Remove from crockpot and pour the sauces over the drumsticks.
    11. 11
      If deep frying: 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.
    12. 12
      Transfer the drumsticks to a large bowl and toss to coat with the Main Sauce.
    13. 13
      For either cooking method, to finish: In a pie plate, combine the peanuts and scallions. Roll the turkey legs in the peanut-scallion mixture, drizzle with the Final Sauce and serve.

    Ratings & Reviews:


    Nutritional Facts for Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks (Slow Cooker or Not)

    Serving Size: 1 (454 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 769.1
    Calories from Fat 335
    Total Fat 37.3 g
    Saturated Fat 8.5 g
    Cholesterol 241.9 mg
    Sodium 1700.4 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 34.8 g
    Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
    Sugars 26.8 g
    Protein 72.7 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    sambal oelek

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