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Black Iron Bystro’s turkey leg is fit for a Viking

At Black Iron Bystro in Blasdell, chef-owner Bryan Mecozzi aims to offer fresh choices that celebrate the best produce available from local farms.

He also sells giant turkey legs because when he and fellow chef Dustin Murphy tried them out on the menu, customers’ Cro-Magnon came out.

“People kind of flipped out over them,” Mecozzi said. “I thought it would be ‘That’s way too much food.’ Quite the contrary: People were all about it.”

The massive joint of poultry, weighing about a pound and a half, has given the dining room a touch of medieval times, he said with a laugh.

That said, the approach Murphy took to making a turkey leg worthy of Black Iron Bystro was a little more sophisticated.

The meat is soaked overnight in a beer brine to heighten moisture and flavor, and rubbed with the Bystro’s custom dry rub. The meat is roasted in a slow oven, for five hours or so, depending on the size.

“When we serve them, we put them on braised greens. Depending on what we have, it might be bok choy, or something else, like kale, whatever our farmer drops off.

Then they make a jalapeno gravy, a white gravy with black pepper but a more pronounced fresh chile bite, he said. Another accompaniment is crispy, thin-gauge shoestring fries, peels still on for more texture, cut in-house before they’re fried.

Before it goes out to the table, it’s finished with pinches of smoked sel gris salt.

“It’s a conversation piece, almost,” Mecozzi said. “When it comes out of the kitchen, people are like ‘What is that?’ and we sell one or two more on the walk-through.” They have taken to calling it the Viking.

Everyone has a different tactic for eating the dish, which goes for $20, Mecozzi said. “Some people are fork-and-knife, sawing it off and eating it with the greens. Some people are just picking it up and going at it.”

Info: Black Iron Bystro, 3648 South Park Ave., Blasdell (240-9830,


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