One of my favourite TV characters is Ron Swanson from the show Parks and Recreation. Ron rocks a killer mustache, pursues manly endeavours, and above all, enjoys meat cooked over fire. He is known for ordering “all the bacon and eggs you have”, the Turf and Turf (a 16oz T-Bone and a 24oz Porterhouse), dispatching justice to vegan bacon, and my favourite, from episode 2×25: The Swanson – a turkey leg wrapped in bacon.
I’ve always been a fan of the turkey drumstick. Something about it reminds me of The Flintstones, and I’d often take it at Christmas dinner, or get one at the rare time they were being sold somewhere.
When I saw the episode of Parks and Recreation with Ron Swanson explaining The Swanson to Tom, I knew that I was going to have to make one.
This year I’ve cooked a lot of chicken on the smoker, but I had never done any turkey. I figured it’d be pretty similar to chicken, so I treated it pretty much the same as a chicken drumstick, just bigger. I try to always brine poultry before cooking it now, and other than that, there’s really not a lot to this recipe.
We had these with some grilled corn on the cob, coated with a feta/chili/lime compound butter. No utensils required!
When I bit into The Swanson, it was glorious. The brine kept the turkey meat juicy and tasty, and the combination of the smoke, the rub, the bacon, and the turkey made each bite fantastic. My wife said it was too primal, and my reply was that it was everything this site was about: delicious carnivorous food, and wrapping things in bacon. I’d like to think that Ron Swanson would be proud.
Bonus – some of my favourite Ron Swanson clips: