Turkey Leg Love

Having children makes you do things you normally wouldn’t do. Like watch the same Yo Gabba Gabba! episode three times in one day. Or eat the hand-smashed piece of banana your toddler offers you. Recently my husband I and took Scarlet, our almost two year old to The Annual Arizona Renaissance Festival. I’ve heard some “interesting” stories about this annual event. Nonetheless, we were looking for an outdoor weekend activity to enjoy the gorgeous Arizona spring weather with Scarlet, so we decided to go.

Since turkey legs are synonymous with any Renaissance Festival, I made the turkey booth my top priority and enjoyed my first sampling of it ever.

You never know where the food is sourced for this type of event. Was it a thaw-heat-and-serve variety straight off the Sysco truck? Was it really from the King’s Grill?


Oh no. The femur was juicy, glistening, tender, and flavorful. It could convince me to come back next year.

The very nice man at this booth assured me that the legs are prepared from scratch at a central kitchen.


First they marinate the legs, then smoke them, and finally finish them on the barbecue, which is how you find them at the booths. One leg seemed to weigh at least a couple of pounds and one was plenty to fill both my stomach and my husband’s.

I pondered what the nutritional content of this love fest might be. The USDA Nutrient Database reveals that a half-pound of this meat with bone removed offers 415 calories, 69 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 170 milligrams of cholesterol. Not too shabby, and an Atkins diet lover’s dream. It lists only 196 milligrams of sodium, but this much meat tasted too good to have such a minimal amount of seasoning.

We were so impressed with our first sampling that we ordered the spinach and artichoke dip in a bread bowl. Sadly, this dish fell flat and tasted like processed cheese food. We were full anyway from the turkey and margaritas (there was no shortage of alcohol); we left it at that, so as not to tarnish our fond food memories.

We passed the skewered food stalls.


This peasant woman washed bowls with juiced lemon halves added to the water. The acidic juice is said to cut through grease and the oils from the rinds naturally scent dishes. These people are onto something.


Was this a medieval break room?


For 5 bucks you could have your hand at bombarding this guy with Chilean roma tomatoes.


If you’re looking for a good piece of meat, you can still catch the festival through this weekend, or find a Renaissance festival near you. If you do go, take my advice and head straight to the guys with the turkey.


  1. Sally says:


    Great post! the picture of you eating the leg is great. plus, it was reassuring to know that you asked all the right questions about sourcing and cooking and in the end were still able to chow down! wish i could go to this fair

    1. Michelle says:

      Thank you Sally! Glad you enjoyed it. Maybe there will be a renaissance fair coming near you this summer. Or wouldn’t it be fab if there were turkey leg food trucks?

  2. Kat says:

    I searched high and low for calorie information on the Turkey Legs, thanks for posting!

    1. Kat,

      It’s my pleasure! Thanks to the USDA Nutrient Database. Mmmm…a turkey leg sounds good right about now.


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