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« Reheated: Stew Leonards, Bourdain, Batali [oh my] | Main | The Boathouse's Autumn Harvest Apple Contorno »

leFarm's Cider Braised Turkey Legs

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.

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Reader Comments (14)

As much as receiving a good recipe is always appreciated I think the number articles and “Photo Galleries” for LeFarm is beginning to give a bit of a biased tilt to this site. With all of the great restaurants and chefs in Fairfield County are eight separate articles plus significant references in two other articles consistent with the site? Just some food for thought.
- Comment On: Bill Taibe's Inspired Farm-to-Table Fare @ LeFarm
- Comment On: LeFarm Goes Underground with "Souterrain"
- Souterrain Date Has Been Announced!- (SOLD OUT)
- Chef Talk: LeFarm's Bill Taibe-Slow Roasted Pork Belly
- Re-creating leFarm's Golden Beet Salad w/ Lentils & Feta
- Bill Taibe's Inspired Farm-to-Table Fare @ LeFarm
- leFarm's Cider Braised Turkey Legs
- LeFarm Goes Underground with "Souterrain"

Major references:
- This Week @ The Westport Farmers Market
- This Week In Wine: Viñedo de los Vientos Dessert Wine

November 19, 2010 | Registered Commenterbarbara peters

Well when you put it that way....

We'll try to keep our Bill Taibe coverage under control as to not offend the masses.

November 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterStephanie Webster

I totally agree with "barbara peters". Stephanie, you should be ashamed. I'm so sick of hearing about great cuisine and cutting-edge recipes and food initiatives. How dare you inundate us with such nonsense!


November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFood Is Good

My point is that there are lots of good finds in westport and i would like to read about some of them as well. there have been about 30 articles on westport places and about 1/3 are dedicated to a place we all know is top notch. what about the others? curious minds want to know and many of us look to ctbites as a "guide"

November 19, 2010 | Registered Commenterbarbara peters

Why the hate "babs"? You have no point. Bill is doing a lot in the community and is setting the bar with Souterrain, his work at the Westport Farmers Market, as well as his appearances on TV. His recipes are in demand. He is one of the best, if not THE best, chefs in the region, and his accomplishments and the attention they garner should be applauded, not attacked or scrutinized.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFood Is Good

Those turkey legs look delicious, and the bacon and the apple cider must give them great flavor. I'm inspired by this recipe. I have one question -- what is the reason for washing (rinsing?) the turkey legs before cooking them?

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

I have never responded to a post related to myself or any restaurant I have been associated with, however, in this case, I feel an exception to the rule is in order. I took the time to create a recipe and participate in CTBites Thanksgiving recipe section and the fact that Barbara Peters found the need to criticize it being here is both disrespectful and offensive to both me and my staff that work hard and take pride in what we do every day both at leFarm and in the local community. CTBites is made up of a great team that strives to provide it’s readers with interesting articles on local food as well as a forum for those readers to provide feedback. Those that feel the need to publicly criticize these articles, may want to think twice about the time and labor that goes into the content by the writer, photographer and food artisan. Maybe a private email would be more appropriate next time to address your concerns

November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Taibe LeFarm

@ Bill & @ Stephanie - I think a fair aspect of Barbara's concern is that in many cases what would seem to be "articles" here read more like "press releases." And Le Farm has certainly been a beneficiary of more than a fair share of that coverage. And I don't think it was the least bit inappropriate for her to comment here, presuming no conflict of interest. It seemed to be an honest opinion reasonably expressed.

@ Food is Good - Why not have the courage to use your own name when taking a shot at Barbara Peters. For all we know, you work for Le Farm, when you don't ID yourself before bashing, as you derisively call her, "Babs."

I once criticized the way a restaurant was positioning an event - it sounded like a great event but it was (in my opinion) a misrepresentation of the nature of the event. Someone anonymously criticized my remark. With a bit of internet detective work I found that the person was an employee of said restaurant.

While on some level I admire the personal loyalty, that kind of anonymous commenting, without informing other readers of background or informed bias, is not ethical. I have no problem with a restauranteur, chef, or other employee defending their establishment, but they should identify themselves when they do so (as Bill has here).

November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Grimm

Thank you Chef Bill and thank you Chris Grimm. As someone who has contributed a number of articles to this site as well as someone who has been the subject of numerous personal criticisms I can speak to both of these issues.

Chef Bill is correct about the time he, his staff and other chefs and staffs spend in developing recipes. And likewise the contributors to this site voluntarily spend time in writing and photographing our articles. For me, I spend hours, yes hours, researching, driving, eating and going through numerous drafts of my article before it is submitted and posted. I want to assure accuracy as well as opinion.

As far as the criticism; I only wish the "criticism" directed at me would have been too much press, calling one of my recipes good or my restaurant top notch as Barbara Peters did (for the record and the Nth time I do NOT work in the food industry). For me the criticism has centered on my integrity, others reading or hacking into personal e-mails to a friend in the industry, and stating I am in the employ of people I write about. And as Chef Bill suggested above I did reach out to him and asked for his assistance in stopping these posts that detract from the true purpose of the site. But the posts criticizing me continued, but under additional handles. So it appears they are outside the staff at Le Farm.

I think we all would like the focus of this site to stay on the food versus personal attacks. So I put a suggestion on the table for Chef Bill. Would you please post something thanking people for their loyalty and support and ask that they stop the criticism of people, respect their privacy and keep the discussion focussed on the food.

November 24, 2010 | Registered CommenterJeff "jfood" Schlesinger

what came first the turkey or the turkey leg recipe?

August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSP in UK

People. This is a blog. I've made suggestions for better broader coverage of the many amazing restaurants in Fairfield County. I've even offered to help with reviews of places in Northern FFLD County where I live as I feel it is greatly under-represented here. I haven't gotten any returned emails. But I'm not offended. This is a is the vision of the blog owner. The beauty of a blog is that if you don't like what you read, you can stop reading it. Or, you can easily start your own blog if you'd like to see it done differently. You can't be all things to all people, but FWIW, still appreciate much of the FREE content in this Blog!

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave


It has been a wonderful year since this story/recipe was originally posted and I am so glad that both the criticizing posts have stopped and I have had the pleasure of getting to know Bill Taibe much better. I worked with him at the Dine with Design event and we are now planning a "Behind the Scenes" article. I can't wait.

And with his new restaurant under construction, there will be additional opportunities to enjoy eating and writing positively about locations to find fantastic food in the area.

November 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterJeff "jfood" Schlesinger

So, I know this is an extremely old post and might not be being watched by anyone, but I thought I'd post a question here just in case!

I'm posting from the currently not-so-sunny city of Canberra in Australia, where we're just starting to see turkey become an option in local supermarkets and butchers. Now, I've mostly been raised in a roast chicken household (like a lot of Aussies, I suspect) so I don't have that much of an understanding about turkey flavours. The question I have for this recipe is about the addition of the bacon. Is it something that's necessary to the flavours of the dish? Could it be omitted, for example, or does anyone have any options for substitution? I'm asking because I'm Jewish, so obviously from a kosher standpoint, bacon's a no-no. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

August 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

I think the recipe would be just fine without the bacon. It really is there to add a flavor (smoke/pork) . The recipe should work just fine without it.


August 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBILL

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