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
The Martha Stewart Show, November 2010
- 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
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Rinse and dry turkey legs; season on all sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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