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turkey leg stew in a bowl
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4.75 from 4 votes

Southwestern Turkey Leg Stew

While I make this stew with turkey drumsticks, you could use pork, which is traditional, or pheasant legs, or even cuts like venison neck or shanks. I definitely recommend you buying the chicos online, unless you live in New Mexico, but as I mention above, any dried corn will do. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: corn, stews, turkey
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 653kcal
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 4 turkey drumsticks, or legs and thighs from 1 turkey
  • 5 to 10 ounces dried corn, about 3 cups
  • 1 quart turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, Mexican if possible
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (optional)
  • 1 to 4 chipotles in adobo, minced
  • 1 cup dried beans (pinto, tepary, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 poblano or Anaheim chiles, roasted, skinned and seeded (or used canned green chiles)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley


  • Put the dry beans in a bowl of very hot water and set aside. Turn the oven to 400F. Salt the turkey drumsticks well on all sides and put them in a roasting pan; you can coat them with a little oil if you'd like. Roast, turning once or twice, until browned, about an hour. 
  • Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, add the turkey broth and 4 more quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and add salt to taste. Drop in the dried corn and simmer this while the turkey legs roast. 
  • When the turkey legs are ready, nestle them into the pot and add a bit more water if they're sticking out of the water. Bring to a simmer and stir in the oregano, chipotles and ancho powder. Simmer gently, partially covered, for 2 hours. 
  • Drain the beans and add them to the pot; they'll usually need an hour to cook.
  • While everything is simmering, heat the lard in a frying pan and saute the onion over medium-high heat until the edges brown. Chop the roasted chiles into pieces you'd want to eat in a stew and add them to the frying pan. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the contents of the frying pan to the pot. 
  • When everything is getting tender, fish out the turkey legs and lay them on a baking sheet to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, strip all the meat off the legs and add it back to the pot. Discard the bones. 
  • Finish with the chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream on the side. 


Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 75g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 240mg | Sodium: 381mg | Potassium: 1532mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 993IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 8mg