Trader Joe's has a turkey products that ask a question: Do you want white meat or dark meat? Because if you like white meat turkey, this is by no means the one to reach for. In fact, you have two solid options for white meat turkey: Trader Joe's Turkey and Stuffing en Croute or Trader Joe's Half Turkey Breast. Both solid options.
Taste and review
Trader Joe's thought about all these half turkeys and probably realized that some people might prefer the drumsticks. And who wouldn't when you take a good look at that bag?
Those drumsticks look like they belong in a Norman Rockwell painting.
The final product on these didn't quite match the glossy, deeply-hued, and caramelized outside of this bag. Not since I tried the shrimp tacos were stunned to see such a disparity between the image on the bag and the final product.
But the description on the back will give you the heads up, assuming you know what it is.
On the back of the bag, it mentions this product is prepared sous vide. If you've never cooked sous vide, then allow me to explain.
Sous vide is the fancy term for a device that keeps water at a certain temperature which allows a product to cook for longer and slower than it would have you put it in an oven or any other heating situation (including a slow cooker) while also ensuring the final product reaches a safe to eat temperature.
You can sous vide just about anything: veggies, meat, or even pasteurize eggs.
This is done by placing the item into a vacuum-sealed bag and submerging it for hours. You are literally slowly bringing the item up to whatever temperature the water is set at.
I'm even the proud owner of one of these sous vide devices. If I'm doing a big dinner this tends to be the way that I go. Throw everything in individual bags with seasonings and herbs and remove when the company gets there. It's a very forgiving cooking method.
While it will keep meat at the perfect temperature, it does not brown, and it doesn't make skin crisp.
The magic that is the Maillard Reaction does not happen.
So if the taste is everything and visuals are unimportant, then look no further. The meat here is super tender and decently seasoned.
But it isn't pretty.
But it is already fully cooked. And for those who are afraid to handle raw meat, this isn't a bad option. These just wouldn't fly compared to the ones you get at Disney or a Fair. Those are way better looking. But might not have these beat.
For $5.49 per pound, this is fairly priced. But this is one of those times where I found the moisture level of this part of the turkey equal to what is usually the drier part of the turkey. Odds are both this and the half turkey breast are both probably prepared the same way.
Would I buy this again? I'm more of a white meat person unless it is chicken thighs, for me, this is a no. I didn't mind the taste of it, but I would be way disappointed in this if I allowed myself to eat with my eyes.
The bag of Trader Joe's Braised Turkey Drumsticks:
Calories and ingredients
How Trader Joe's prepared this:
Out of the package you get:
After being heated up with a side of Trader Joe's Scalloped Potatoes with Quattro Formaggio:
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Braised Turkey Drumsticks
Product Name: Trader Joe's Braised Turkey Drumsticks
Product Description: Fully cooked herbed drumsticks
Price: $5.49 per pound
The already cooked braised turkey drumstick option
- Two tasty drumsticks are in this pouch
- Reasonably priced at $5.49 per pound for the dark meat lover
- If you eat with your taste buds and not with your eyes, then this is a good option
- Looks absolutely nothing like the picture perfect turkey on this bag
- The inside pouch seemed leaky.
I think maybe this would be more ideal for soup that you can simmer in broth and then shred the meat out.
Hmmmm I have to say that the drumstick does not look very aesthetically appealing on your plate. This would definitely be a no for me since I really don't care for dark meat very much. But as always thanks for the review. I love that you review many different types of items
As a sous vide veteran, I didn't quite trust their instructions. To achieve a good reaction, you need some medium as well as dry meat so you don't overcook (since sv is cooked to start with). I patted the legs dry, put them in a baking dish and added a pat of butter to the top of each and drizzled some olive oil in the pan. About halfway through, I poured some red win on the legs, turned them over and basted them with the juices from the butter, olive oil, and wine. When done, they looked pretty close to the picture. I think their instruction to just put them in a pan unaccompanied belied their sous vide experience. Heat without a conductor, or better yet milk solids, will just dry out and eventually burn the meat.
Hey VO99! I'm glad you stopped by. That still seems like such a huge gap between the picture and instructions. I always make it as is so the home cook can understand what they are probably in for. Thank you for sharing your directions.
These drumsticks are terrific provided you don’t follow TJ’s instructions. The drumsticks where covered in a gelatin like substance which I scraped off and placed in a small stock pot along with some turkey stock, fresh sage, shallots and 2 ounces of dry port wine . I let simmer on low heat, while heating the oven. Before placing the turkey legs in a 425 degree oven, I rubed them with an herb butter mixture and a sprinkling of paprika. After 15 minutes in the oven , I basted the drumsticks with the stock mixture and baked for an additional 20 min. While not as beautiful as the photo on the bag, they were quite attractive looking , tasty and tender. They are worth the extra effort required to finish them properly.
I loved it!!!! This is a great option if you want a well and not over seasoned dark meat turkey leg. I never follow instructions and do my own twist on everything and maybe that is why my turkey came out amazing. I put legs in pan as directed but did the turkey dripping my way. I heated to a boil a can of sliced peaches, 4 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoon of maple syrup, dry thyme, dry sage , dry rosemary, salt and pepper then poured in the dripping in bag where legs were. When the turkey had cooked for 20-25 m I poured this sauce all over and let it cook for another 15m. I can put so juicy and fell of the bones. Also the color of the turkey looked amazing after it was done. Also bought the Trader Joe's corn pudding.Try it and enjoy😀
Hey Alisa! Thanks so much for how you prepared this. Some people have expressed gratitude towards the comments section here and your adaptation sounds pretty darn good. Thanks so much for sharing this! And yes, the corn pudding is good as long as you don't look at the nutrition.
Mine came out really good, after reading some of the comments here. I baked them with some olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and paprika and then also broiled them for a couple of minutes at the end. They looked pretty good (though still not as good as the packaging lol). And they were super tender and definitely very flavorful.
Hey Jessica! Thanks for sharing! Your picture came out pretty close to the bag. With the right lighting you can totally get the same effect. Thanks so much for sharing!
Susan Maitland says
Bought both the drumsticks and breast and cooked on a grill mat on the gas grill. While not as pretty as the package picture it was very tasty and grilling improved the appearance. Will absolutely buy again, perfect for a small Thanksgiving with enough leftover for turkey on toast with gravy the next two mornings.
Hey Susan! Thanks so very much for taking the time to stop by! I'm glad the grilling helped with the appearance! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on these!
Lori Hardee says
They are WONDERFUL! My husband tried them and was so disappointed they were a seasonal item! He is diabetic and we are always in search of protein items for his plate. We definitely will buy them again !
Hey Lori! Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I'm hoping to get a low carb list going sometime this month. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts.
Donna J Degele says
Are the braised turkey drumsticks still available? I really enjoyed them last year but unable to locate this year at trader joes or anywhere and I would like to purchase.. Please let me know if available for purchase.
Hey Donna! I haven't seen them yet so I'd recommend calling your local store to see if they are coming in.