Kung Pao Turkey Drumsticks (Slow Cooker or Not)

READY IN: 4hrs 40mins




  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. (Note: I used about 1 1/2 tbl soy sauce total for the full recipe of this sauce and it was plenty for me).
  • Stir in the sambal oelek.
  • If using crockpot, heat some oil in a skillet and brown the turkey well on all sides - about 20 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Remove from crockpot and pour the sauces over the drumsticks.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the drumsticks to a large bowl and toss to coat with the Main Sauce.
  • 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.