Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks (Slow Cooker or Not)

Total Time
4hrs 40mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 4 hrs

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.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  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. 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. 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. Add the garlic and the remaining 3 tablespoons of ginger and cook over low heat until softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the mirin and vinegar and simmer until slightly reduced, 2 minutes.
  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. Stir in the sambal oelek.
  8. If using crockpot, heat some oil in a skillet and brown the turkey well on all sides - about 20 minutes.
  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. Remove from crockpot and pour the sauces over the drumsticks.
  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. Transfer the drumsticks to a large bowl and toss to coat with the Main Sauce.
  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.