4-legged turkeys?

Answers to this will make me the of the dinner next week:

Many people, myself included, don’t like turkey breast meat: it almost always cooks up dry as the dark meat takes more time to cook properly, and is intrinsically less flavorful and juiceless (hence the cranberry sauce).

Most customers, if producers are to be trusted, apparently like white meat, and turkeys are artificially bred with such enlarged breasts that they can’t even walk w/o outside help.

So with magic of dna and selective breeding, could we ever see a four-legged turkey, to satisfy personal taste and resolve the issue of “who gets the leg”?


They made one, but nobody could catch it to see how it tasted.

shakes fist

I wish. Even cooked properly the white meat of any poultry is only fit to be an ingredient for a soup or some other culinary escapade.

I can get bland anywhere, not gonna do it with a dead animal…they gave their their best.

Probably not. It isn’t worth the effort or cost.

  1. There isn’t that much demand for legs; most people prefer breast meat, as you noted.
  2. Thus there is already a surplus of legs, because of the sales of turkey breast only.

So some stores already sell packages of just turkey legs. And some stores actually sell a package labeled “4-legged turkey” (a regular turkey plus 2 extra legs) for people like you who like the leg.

I can’t help you with your Quadraturkey but if you cook it breast down you won’t get dry breast meat. Just flip it around in the last hour to get the skin crispy. Or, just buy some legs as mentioned.

If I were a genetic engineer, maybe I could help, but I’m just a rental-property manager. I do, however, have a suggestion: if a lot of folks at your house prefer the dark meat, instead of buying one big turkey (which all the shoppers are fighting over anyway), get two small ones. They’re easier to handle, quicker to cook, and you end up with four legs!

Do people really prefer dry, flavorless meat to tasty, juicy meat?

Sew as many extra legs on to the turkey as you like. The trick is bringing it to the table without having given the game away. James Barber said ‘everybody thought he was just really over-reacting to afternoon sex’ when he published his recipe for eight-legged turkey.

I prefer dark meat, but the breasts of my chicken and turkeys always turn out great. The trick is to cook them un-stuffed, use a good quality, relatively small turkey (about 15 lbs) and use an instant read thermometer to make sure it’s not overcooked. I brined one year and it worked great, but even un-brined my turkeys turn out juicy.

I have had similarly excellent results with brining. Plump, juicy and tasty breasts, just like I like my [del]women[/del] other poultry.

The year I brined, my breast was great. I will be brining my turkey again. I too, don’t like white meat. I am just amazed that it is so popular.

I too prefer the dark meat, so I like things the way they are - with the demand for white meat making separate purchase of cheap turkey drumsticks a possibility. With the right treatment, turkey drumstick can be prepared to come out like pork, lamb or duck (and turkey, of course)

No, most folks like their breast meat juicy, too – and therefore cook the turkey with any of the many of ways of not overcooking the breast meat: breast down, ice it, tinfoil tent, brining, basting, injecting during cooking, two-stage cooking, smaller birds, wet cooking, buying just the breast, and innumerable variations of the above.

You can have my legs. Properly cooked breast meat is juicy and delicious without the greasy gaminess of dark meat.


Connoisseur of deep-fried turkey*

*God, I know it’s bad, but it’s oh-so-good!

Since we’re talking about food, let’s move the discussion to Cafe Society…

I prefer white meat. But then, I don’ tlike the taste of blood in general (Can’t comprehend eating rare steak ewwww!).

But when I was young and poor I used to buy packages of turkey legs and cook them out on the grill, which was relaly quite lovely. Do a stack of those on a side platter and I bet you’ll have a table full of Henry the VIII’s before you know it!

Re: the OP You’d just have to create an environment in wich it made sense for the turkeys to use their wings as weight-bearing appendages on the ground. The huge-brested ones are actually off to a good start. I’d think maybe a shifting, uneven floor would help persuade the first coupl of generations to use them for balance.

Then once you’ve got them balancing add an occaisional predatory scare that they need to run from. Within about, oh 3,000 generations (give or take a few) you should have the beginnings of four-legged critters. . .

As has often been pointed out on these boards, there is no blood in a rare steak. The red color is due to myoglobin.

  1. Mr./Ms. Moderator: I too have noted the thread drift. I am a cook, and am aware of a zillion ways to approach the cooking and taste of the turkey (or similar apps with other foul). So if I get us on track again w/ the enclosed comment on the pertinent thread comments, can we be moved back to the originating board?

2: To all:
A respondant, who for some reason wishes to remaion anonymous, suggested that I should also ask why they can’t be born with a nice sage and breacrumb stuffing. But that is Not Important.
The comment above about genetics and a zillion re-breedings (assuming that a viable case could found), is also dependant not only on the full genetic mapping of the bird (has this been done?), which gene expresses thigh budding, and then splicing that and hoping the rest of the organism doesn’t fall apart.

Does this sound right?


I indirect grill my turkey on a charcoal Weber, and the breast is always juicy and tasty. I grew up with the dried out garbage you’re all familiar with, but the grill beats the oven every time. The trick is that the grill traps all that heat and starts off quite hot, then cooks for a longer duration at a lower temp – all without adjustment; charcoals just do this. All that initial heat that’s set into the outside of the turkey “pushes” its way deeper – cooking the bird to perfection.