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As we described in our How to De-Construct a Turkey post (link to post here) this year lots of people are cooking their turkey for Thanksgiving using a method called de-construction.   Basically, you take the bird apart to cook and then put it back together when serving.  One benefit of using this cooking method is that the thighs on the Thanksgiving bird can be deboned and filled with stuffing. This is an impressive way to prepare and serve drumsticks.

Here is a stuffed drumstick recipe to try this Thanksgiving but, you can easily substitute your own favorite stuffing recipe.


  • 6 turkey drumsticks (about 3/4 pound each)
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms (white button, shiitake, chanterelle, porcini, morel or any other combination of your choice)
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten well
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups stock (preferably from poultry)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) chilled unsalted butter plus butter for basting, plus 1 tablespoon for sautéing mushrooms


• Bone the drumsticks or ask your butcher to bone them for you. Look inside and make sure no bone remains and that all of the cartilage and tendons are removed. If any remains, remove them carefully so that the skin remains intact.

• Season the boned drumsticks well with salt and pepper, and let the legs sit covered in plastic wrap for about 20 minutes.

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Cut the mushrooms in half and remove the stems from the shiitakes. Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the mushrooms, and cook quickly over high heat until wilted. Let them cool. Once cooled, dice the mushrooms finely and place in a large bowl.

• Slowly cook the bacon in a medium frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate. Once cool enough to touch, chop. Don’t discard the bacon fat. You’ll use it in the next step.

• You should have at least a tablespoon of fat in the pan. (If not, add butter or olive oil to make up the difference.) Heat the same pan on medium (do not drain the fat rendered out of the bacon), add the minced shallots and cook until the shallots begin to brown. Add the chopped dried cranberries, sage and stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

• Add the bacon and breadcrumbs to the mushrooms in the big mixing bowl. Add the cooked shallot mixture and eggs to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and stir well. You want a rough paste, something that will stick to itself. If it’s too dry add some stock, a little at a time, until you reach the right consistency. Remove from the heat and allow the stuffing to cool.

• Divide stuffing among the six boned drumsticks, stuffing each drumstick. Place the drumsticks in a roasting pan, skin side up, and place the pan in the preheated oven. Roast for 15 minutes, baste the skin with a little butter, and roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown. The drumsticks may also puff up at this point. Remove from oven and keep warm.

• Add the stock to the roasting pan, and place over high heat. Deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits. Boil until a little more than half the stock remains. Just before serving, whisk in the 1/2 stick of chilled butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste sauce for seasoning.

• Place the stuffed turkey drumsticks on 6 dinner plates, surround with the sauce, and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.