Bacon-wrapped turkey lollipops are a unique and delicious way to serve turkey legs. There are many recipes for chicken lollipops, but very few for ones made of turkey. The reason is it is hard work to make them.
The results of making turkey lollipops make the effort and time worthwhile. The end result is juicy and delicious turkey meat wrapped in smoky bacon. There is something very medieval when chomping down on a turkey leg.
Due to the amount of butchering please consider safety first. Always point your knife away from you and your hands. You’ll need a sharp boning knife and culinary or regular pliers to clean the bones. Paper towels help you grip the turkey drumstick skin so you can pull it off easily. There are about 10 tendons and bones to remove.
Bacon Wrapped Turkey Lollipops Recipe
- 2 turkey legs uncooked
- 1 tablespoon Slap Yo’ Daddy Jailbird Chicken Rub
- 12 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- boning knife
Turkey Leg Butchering
- Pull back on the skin of the turkey leg while using a boning knife to gently separate it from the meat. Pull it back to about an inch from the end. Gently work the skin back towards that small bone-end, leaving the skin on so you’ll have a “handle” to pull it off.
- There are 3 bone blades towards the thin end of the drumstick. Work the boning knife below them, between them and the meat, cutting them loose. Make a cut around the bone, just below the big ball of the meat. Keep cutting around in circles a few times, giving it a little pressure (make sure to tilt the knife away from your hand slightly in case you slip, so the knife will go away from you instead of towards you).
- Work the knife under each tendon and bony stick, cutting upwards (and away) and severing them. Start scraping the bone (with the knife tilted away from you) towards the thin end pushing down all the fragments of meat, tendons, skin, etc.
- Use a wad of 2 to 3 sheets of paper towels to grab the slippery skin and the rest. Pull it off the end of the turkey bone. It probably won’t fully come off. This is where you start twisting it over and over until it comes off.
- Use the boning knife (cutting away from you always) to work most of the bits off to scrape down to the bone. Then use the pliers to grab any small pieces in crevices.
- Remove all the tendons and bony sticks from the other end with the pliers and the knife when needed. Some tendons/sticks will come right out with no real meat on them. A couple will come out with a tiny amount of disposable meat on them.
- There are a couple that will start pulling out large portions of meat when you tug on them with the pliers; this is where you start using your boning knife to scrape the meat away from the tendon you are pulling on. Eventually, it will separate with the tendon coming out and the meat remaining on the drumstick.
- There is a huge thick bony stick that sits right down tight next to the main bone. Work the boning knife between the two, slicing down as far as you can go without cutting into the ball of the meat. Once that is free, use the pliers and go down into the ball of meat as far as you reasonably can and break that large bony stick that you just separated from the main bone.
- Scrape the bone downwards off the bone towards the ball and remove the fragments. Push the meat down into a ball.
- Dust the meat of the turkey drumstick with the chicken rub.
- Wrap the meat of the turkey lollipop in bacon then use toothpicks to secure it in place.
- Dust the wrapped bacon in the chicken rub.
- Preheat the smoker to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Place the turkey lollipop in the smoker and cook until it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (75 degrees C). This takes about an hour and 20 minutes.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes then remove all the toothpicks.
- Glaze the turkey lollipop with your favorite barbecue sauce.