Braised Turkey Legs

Braised Turkey Legs

A couple of factors influenced this dish.  One, I read the book “Eat Right for Your Blood Type” and one of the only meats my husband and I have in common is turkey and Two, this is a budget friendly meat.  Each 2-leg package was under $3.00 at Sprouts so a main course that has lots of protein at less than $1.50 per serving catches my attention.

I know that turkey legs can be a little tough and sinewy, so I wanted to incorporate the braise method of cooking, slow and in liquid to bring out the most flavor I can without drying out the meat.  I’ve posted a lot of braising recipes on this blog, but truly it is one of the best ways to put a lot of flavor into a cheap cut of meat that can bring it up to “company for dinner” level.  Trends these days are to go back to rustic basics, to you will find a lot of short ribs, lamb and pork shanks, stews and such on fine dining menus.

If you have never tried to braise, try this recipe, it’s inexpensive and really flavorful.  I use fresh herbs in nearly all my dishes because I grow many varieties in containers in my backyard.   You can use dried, and I’ve given some recommendations in the recipe.

Braised Turkey Legs – By Debra Crawford
Makes 4 Servings

4   –  Fresh Turkey Legs (drumsticks), (check them for pin feathers and remove)
3   –  Tablespoons Olive Oil
1   –  Medium Onion Chopped
2   –  Medium Carrots Chopped
2   –  Stalks Celery Chopped
2   –  Large Cloves Garlic Sliced
2   –  Fresh Rosemary Sprigs about 6″ each  (or 1 teaspoon dried)
4   –  Fresh Thyme Sprigs about 4″ each (or 1 teaspoon dried)
10 –  Fresh Sage Leaves (or 2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 – Cups White Wine
2   –  Cups Chicken Broth
2   –  Tablespoons Flour
2   –  Tablespoons Butter
Salt and Pepper

Pat the turkey legs dry, salt and pepper them.  In large skillet or metal casserole  (better to use traditional, not a non-stick pan here) heat till hot, add the olive oil and carefully lay the drumsticks in the pan.  Brown thoroughly on all sides, remove from pan and set aside.

Add the onion, carrots and celery, cook in the drippings about 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute or so.  Pour in the wine and scrap all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, add the chicken broth and the herbs, stir slightly, salt and pepper to taste, then lay the drumsticks back in the pan.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to the lowest simmer.

Simmer for 1 hour, turn legs and simmer 1 hour more, until the meat is fork tender.  Remove meat from pan, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by 1/3, about 5 – 10 minutes (leave cover off).

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and cook this mixture for a couple of minutes until it starts to turn golden brown, making a rue.  Stir the rue into the liquid and simmer, stirring to thicken into a sauce.

I served this with a scoop of  rice, laying the drumstick on top and then spooning sauce over and around.  I like rice with this because it carries the sauce without getting runny.  But you could certainly use potato or if you want to bring in a thanksgiving flavor, some mashed yams or even butternut squash.

Turkey Legs Browning
Turkey Legs Browned
Braise Companions
Turkey Legs Braise Complete

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