Braised Turkey Legs and Thighs

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Braising--browning, then stewing in a covered pot--is the very best way to prepare succulent, tender turkey legs and thighs. Not only does a long, luxurious braise net great results, it’s also a busy person’s go-to method. You can leave the meat to cook, while you do other things. Braised turkey legs are even better served the next day.

Gremolata is a herbaceous condiment that adds a brightness and freshness to the turkey. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4 to 6Servings

Ingredients

Turkey:

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large turkey legs, and 2 thighs
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole head of garlic, cut in half to expose the cloves
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • Bouquet garni: 1 bay leaf, 6 sage leaves, several thyme sprigs and 1 rosemary sprig, tied in a bundle with kitchen twine
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups turkey broth, chicken broth, or mixed poultry broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Gremolata:

  • ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Zest of 1 orange, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation

Turkey:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. 

2. Heat evoo in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown turkey legs and thighs, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until skin is crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add onion, celery, and carrots to the Dutch oven, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until browned. Add turkey legs and thighs, garlic, mushrooms, bouquet garni, wine, and broth back to the pot. Cover and braise for 1 hour.

4. Uncover and continue cooking for 1 hour more, or until legs are tender and meat is almost falling off the bone.

5. Transfer legs and thighs to a platter. Skim off and discard fat from braising liquid. Spoon remaining juices over legs. Top with some of the Gremolata, and serve with additional Gremolata on the side.

Gremolata:

1. Pulse parsley, garlic, zest and orange juice, zest and lemon juice, evoo, and pumpkin seeds until it forms a coarse paste.

2. Spoon over turkey legs. Transfer remaining to a small bowl and serve alongside turkey.