Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Braised Turkey Legs

I love turkey. Though at Thanksgiving I tend to be more of a sides girl, I do love having just a bit of the meat. Aaron’s really into turkey legs, especially after he had one at this fair in Minnesota while we were visiting his sister. We have been looking for them off and on at grocery stores since November and finally a couple of weeks ago, we found them! So we tossed them in the freezer while trying to figure out what to do. Finally, I realized I had a recipe on my ambitious list and a few days ago, I went for it.

This is actually a fairly simple recipe and the only thing you really need to invest is time. So I sat downstairs near the oven and watched Top Model while basting every 20 minutes. What a fabulous way to spend an evening. These are super tasty and if you can find turkey legs, I say go for it! This is a half recipe and slightly modified on the gravy bit.

Brasied Turkey Legs from The 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook:

Serves 2 with leftovers

1 Tb. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
3 turkey legs
1 c.-ish chopped onion
½ c.-ish chopped celery
Poultry chop spices to taste
Handful of flour
Chunk of butter

In a bowl, mix garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Rub turkey legs with the mixture, covering them thoroughly. Place legs on a platter and refrigerate from at least 4 hours. I did mine overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped onion and celery in a baking dish at least 2 inches deep and large enough to hold all of the legs. Place turkey legs on top of vegetables, add 1 inch of water, and bake for 45 minutes, basting about every 20 minutes with pan juices.

Turn legs, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake for another 45 minutes (still basting occasionally), or until the legs are well browned and meat is cooked and tender. I did the full 45 and they were perfectly cooked. Remove from oven, and turn oven temperature to warm. Remove turkey legs to a platter, and strain pan juices into a saucepan. Discard celery and onion, retaining 2 cups of pan juices in the saucepan. Return turkey legs to baking dish and keep them warm in the oven while you prepare the gravy.

The original recipe had you use a browning sauce/gravy base, but I decided to just go for the gusto and make my own gravy for the very first time ever. I add some poultry seasoning to the pan juices, threw in a chunk of butter and added flour until it looked the right consistency and simmered this over low heat. I have never made gravy before, but I’ve seen my dad do it a number of times, so though I was just guessing, it seemed right. And it was! I was super impressed with myself.

Remove turkey legs from oven and spoon gravy over it. There is also a suggestion in the book that you can have them cold and though I didn’t, Aaron tried it and said that it was quite tasty, but better warm. We had ours with some fabulous mashed potatoes and green beans.

1 comment:

Becca G said...

I love doing butter basted turkey legs, but that gravy looks like an awesome additive (I usually just throw the juices out, shameful I know)

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