Karen told me at the outset that I was doomed. Nonsense. You can do anything with turkey that you can do with chicken.
The recipe was called “Stuffed chicken legs.” It called for de-boned leg quarters, left whole, stuffed, and rolled up. When I was at the butcher’s and saw boneless turkey legs I thought “I can make that work.” Okay, that’s not what I thought. It was more like “That’s perfect!” I bought two.
So I made the filling and then got the turkey legs out onto the cutting board. Holy cow, there is a lot of meat on a turkey leg. I had to do lots of trimming just so I’d be able to roll them. Then I was supposed to tie them up with butcher’s twine. When am I going to remember to buy that at the store? Karen says “I use yarn.” I don’t think yarn would work in this case. You see, these rolled and tied turkey leg thingies were to then be placed on a roasting rack in a roasting pan and shoved inside a NASA hot 450 degree oven. I’m pretty sure the yarn would have caught fire at that point. I don’t have a roasting rack so I found a multitasker; I put a cooling rack inside a 12 inch iron skillet. Surprise surprise, they unrolled a bit. I’m stupid, I know. I thought it was cool how the hot oven browned the turkey, even with no skin.
At 450 degrees it still took an hour to cook, and thank God I had that programmable thermometer. While I was waiting for it to reach 160F I realized something. Something horrible. Every time I watch a cooking show, every time I read a recipe it tells me to do the same thing: Season The Meat. First thing. Ick, I can’t believe I forgot again. That may explain the result, I don’t know.
When the chicken was almost done Oh wait, I used turkey didn’t I? Okay, when the turkey was almost done I put the penne in some salted boiling water. Then I made the pesto, and it literally took 3 minutes to do. Way cool. I was glad I found this recipe from Giada because I think it saved the dish.
In this picture you can even see my lack of slicing skills. When all was said and done the boys didn’t eat much except for the pasta with some parmesean sprinkled on top. The turkey was tough, and Karen says that it’s like that unless cooked long and slow. At least it wasn’t “I told you so.” It was also tasteless except for the filling, and I wasn’t too crazy about the filling. By eating turkey and penne in the same bite I managed to make it edible. I would make the pesto again, especially in the summer, but not the turkey, or chicken, or whatever.
Jonathan painted his ear so he would look like Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.