Roasted turkey drumsticks

A paleo dish with true caveman charisma

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Friends are going paleo, and though I frown on all diets, this one sounds like fun.

The idea is simple: Eat what cave men ate. I imagine that means woolly mammoth on the spit, side of tumbleweed. Neither of which I've ever seen at Whole Foods.

Fortunately, the modern paleo practitioner is pragmatic. If you can't get your hands on mammoth or tumbleweed, the neopaleo-nutritionist says, substitute. Meat, say. Or vegetable. Which covers a lot of ground.

Chicken wing. Pork chop. Lettuce leaf. All of which lack cave-manly charisma. Where's the chest thumping?

Seems to me if you really want to get with the prehistoric lifestyle, you've got to fell, truss and roast a turkey over the open fire, then grab a juicy leg bone and have at it, barehanded on the cave stoop.

Makes you feel all Fred and Barney tough. And just a little Betty and Wilma chic.

Cave man clubs

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 4


4 turkey drumsticks, about 3/4 pound each
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Briefly soak drumsticks in several changes of cold salted water. Pat dry.

Mix together bacon fat (or oil), zest, sage, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Slide a finger between meat and skin, opening a pocket of space. Rub seasonings under skin and over skin of each drumstick.

Grill over indirect heat, turning once, until crisp outside and 165 degrees inside, about 40 minutes. Or, set drumsticks on a broiler rack over a drip pan. Slide into a 425-degree oven and roast, turning once, until crisp outside and 165 degrees inside, about 40 minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes. Chomp, cave man style.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at

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