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Cider-Braised Turkey Legs

With this slow braising method, tender turkey legs are a meal unto themselves, perfect for dark-meat lovers. The recipe comes from chef Bill Taibe, owner of LeFarm.Also try: Sweet Sausage, Sage, and Hazelnut-Stuffed Turkey Breast

  • servings: 4


  • 2 turkey legs (from one 15- to 16-pound turkey)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

  2. Step 2

    Rinse and dry turkey legs; season on all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Place bacon in a large Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

  4. Step 4

    Increase heat to high and add olive oil. Add turkey legs, skin side down, working in batches if necessary. Cook, turning, until turkey is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer legs to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon of rendered fat from Dutch oven.

  5. Step 5

    Add carrots, celery, and leeks to Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and cook until it begins to bubble. Add thyme, sage, bay leaves, and cider; bring to a boil and stir, breaking up any browned bits at the bottom of pan. Continue boiling until cider is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Add chicken stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a slow simmer and add reserved bacon. Return turkey legs to Dutch-oven, skin side down; cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 40 minutes, turn turkey legs, uncover, and continue cooking until legs are tender, 45 to 50 minutes more.

  7. Step 7

    Transfer turkey legs to a serving platter. Skim fat from top of braising liquid and discard; season braising liquid with salt and pepper and spoon over turkey legs. Serve.

The Martha Stewart Show, November 2010

Reviews (1)

  • 4 Jan, 2012

    Oh my gosh, this looked wonderful! I've rarely felt my mouth water over a recipe for turkey. This chef is also an excellent teacher, sharing cooking knowledge and tips throughout the segment. He and Martha had sparkling chemistry. So fun!