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Smoked Turkey Pâté

Pâté is a seasoned, ground-meat preparation of French origin. Although this recipe fits that definition, it substitutes smoked turkey for boiled pork in an old Southern delicacy. My wife stated that if I called the recipe by its Southern name (hog’s head cheese), many people would be turned off and never read further. A common way of serving this spicy delicacy is to place thin-cut squares on a saltine cracker and top with a dab of yellow mustard. It can be refrigerated and does not have to be served all at one time.

3 large or 5 small turkey drumsticks (approximately 3½ cups when smoked and ground)

2/3 cup sliced green onion, white and green

2/3 cup fresh parsley

2 1/2 cups low fat chicken stock

1 heaping cup diced yellow onion

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

5 envelopes unflavored gelatin

Prepare the smoker for medium heat and 3 to 3 1/2 hours of moderate wood smoke (hickory or pecan woods are suggested). Remove the skin from the turkey legs, place the turkey in the smoker and cook until done (approximately 3 hours).

Cut the meat from the bone. Finely grind the turkey and the next two ingredients (green onion and parsley) together, and set aside. Combine the next seven ingredients (stock through bay leaves) in a 10 inch sauce pan over medium heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the gelatin, stir until the gelatin is dissolved, and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves, add the ground ingredients, stir to mix, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a 5 x 9 inch bread loaf pan that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until the gelatin has set (at least 4 hours). Remove the pâté from the loaf pan, slice, and serve.

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