Recipe: leFarm's Cider Braised Turkey Legs
For many people, the best part of the Thanksgiving turkey are the legs. The dark meat is more richly flavorful and for those who are in this camp...why bother with the breast? Bill Taibe has come up with a solution for turkey leg lovers everywhere...Cider Braised Turkey Legs. Braising vs baking makes the meat literally fall off the bone. Enjoy.
leFarm's Cider Braised Turkey Legs
• 4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1/8 cup olive oil
• 2 turkey legs
• salt and pepper
• 2 carrots, med dice
• 2 celery stalks, med dice
• 2 leeks, sliced 1/4 inch round
• ¼ light brown sugar
• 3 thyme sprigs
• 2 sprigs sage
• 2 fresh bay leaf
• 2 cups apple cider
• 1 cup chicken broth
• salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Wash and thoroughly dry the turkey legs. Season them on all sides with salt and pepper and set the legs aside.
Add the bacon to a large Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until it begins to crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add olive oil. Add the turkey legs to the Dutch oven skin-side down. Do not crowd the turkey thighs; if necessary cook them in two batches. Cook the turkey until it is well-browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the turkey legs to a plate and discard all but 1 tbsp of oil from the Dutch oven.
Add the carrots, celery, and leeks to the dutch oven. Season with salt & pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Then add brown sugar and cook till bubbling
Add the herbs and cider to the pan. Bring the cider to a boil and stir well to break up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Boil the cider until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chicken stock. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Sprinkle the reserved bacon.
Add the turkey legs to the dutch oven, skin-side down. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook for 40, then flip the turkey legs Remove the cover and continue cooking until the turkey is tender, another 45-50 minutes.
Place each turkey legs on a plate. Spoon off as much fat from the top of the liquid as you can. Cover the legs with vegetables from the pot. Taste the braising liquid, reduce and season if needed.