[Photos: Jasmin Sun / Eater ]
When asked if he had ever eaten a turkey burger on last week's episode of Parks and Recreation, our hero Ron Swanson replied: "Is that a fried turkey leg inside a grilled hamburger? If so, yes. Delicious." And because we believe everything Ron Swanson says, we decided to make one. Below, a photo essay of the epic construction of the surprisingly delicious Ron Swanson Turkey Burger — plus the recipe, in case you want to try it out for yourself.
Video: Ron Swanson Describes His Turkey Burger
The Raw Ingredients
A Fried Turkey Leg
Surrounded With Ground Beef
Ready For the Oven
Time For the Grill
Inside a Grilled Hamburger
Five Pound Ground Beef Patty
A Fried Turkey Leg Inside a Grilled Hamburger
Ready to Eat
Recipe: The Ron Swanson Turkey Burger
1 2/3 pound turkey leg
5 pounds ground beef
Oil for frying
About one stick of butter, altogether
1 large, round loaf of bread
1. Heat the oil in a pot to about 350 degrees F (we guessed). Preheat the oven to 325.
2. Rinse the turkey leg and pat dry, as you don't want any explosions when you put it in the hot oil. Fry until the skin is crispy; it took us about ten minutes.
3. Mix about two teaspoons salt into the ground beef.
4. Butter an oven-safe, burger-shaped cooking vessel generously. We used a 5-quart pot.
5. Press one third of the ground beef into the bottom of the pot. Press the fried turkey leg into the beef and surround and cover it with the rest of the beef. The goal is to make it appear as though there's not actually a turkey leg in there. Depending on how lean your cut of beef is, you might want to dot the top of the burger with a little more butter so it doesn't dry out while it's baking.
6. Bake to just below the temperature you want your burger to be, as it'll cook a little more on the grill. We were aiming for just shy of medium so we baked it to an internal temperature of 130 degrees. It took about an hour and a half. (We also cooked it at the lowish temperature of 325 because we didn't want the outside of the burger to brown until it got onto the grill.)
7. Get your grill fairly hot. The goal is just to get some grill marks and some smoky flavor on there. We drained the fat and juices out of the pan and brushed them over the burger while it was on the grill, again to keep it from drying out.
8. After the burger's done grilling, let it rest in a pan. Meanwhile, slice the loaf of bread as one might slice a hamburger bun, butter generously, and toss it on the grill, butter-side down, to get it crispy.
9. Assemble your burger. We sliced it like a pizza for serving and it worked pretty well. Make sure to warn your guests about the turkey bone.
10. Add ketchup if you want. We couldn't care less.