"Blue Thunder" Turkey Drumsticks
- 6 turkey drumsticks
- 2 cups cranberries
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 to 5 fresh sage leaves
- 10 to 15 whole allspice
- 10 to 15 whole cloves
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 cup salt
- Injection Mixture:
- 1 tablespoon onion juice
- 1 tablespoon garlic juice
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
- 1 tablespoon chile sauce (recommended: Siracha)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 gallon beer, divided
- 2 applewood smoking chips (recommended: Bradley Apple Bisquettes)
- 2 to 3 gallons peanut oil
- Special equipment: meat injector, smoker (recommended: Bradley Digital Smoker), turkey fryer
For the turkey: Remove the tendons from each drumstick (or ask your local butcher to do it for you): With a flexible boning knife, make a cut at the knob end of the drumstick to separate the tendons from the bone. Locate the major tendon that resembles a cooked piece of fettuccini and follow it up the drumstick with your boning knife to cut it out. Repeat for the 3 to 4 other major tendons. Using a pair of pliers, grab and pull out the minor tendon that resembles a cooked piece of spaghetti. Repeat for the 5 to 6 other minor tendons. Scrape the boning knife against the bone to clean up any leftover meat.
For the marinade: Place the cranberries, rosemary, sage, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon stick in a large plastic container and add 1 to 2 cups boiling water just to cover. Allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
For the brine: In a large bowl, dissolve the salt with 1 to 2 cups boiling water, whisking until the salt has dissolved.
Add the marinade mixture to the brine mixture, and then pour in the remaining beer to cool it down.
Inject each drumstick a couple of times with the injection mixture using a meat injector. Place the drumsticks in the marinade and add 1 gallon cold water to cover. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the smoker to 250 to 300 degrees F.
Remove the drumsticks from the marinade and place in the smoker. Place the applewood chips in the smoker and smoke for 30 to 40 minutes. When they are done, they will have a light golden color and an internal temperature of 110 to 120 degrees F.
Fill a turkey fryer with the peanut oil until it reaches the maximum capacity line. Light the burner and heat the oil until it is between 340 to 360 degrees F.
Carefully drop each turkey drumstick into the oil and fry until the internal temperature of the drumstick registers 160 to 165 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel on a wire cooling rack. Allow a resting time of 10 minutes before serving.
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