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Braised Turkey Legs

Braised Turkey Legs

A whole turkey makes for a great presentation, but it takes a lot of brining, basting, etc., to ensure the breast doesn’t dry out before the legs are done. There is another way—two ways, in fact: Cook the legs and the breast separately, using a different method for each. It’s possibly the greatest holiday-food “Aha!” moment ever.


  • 2 skin-on, bone-in turkey drumsticks (about 1½ pounds)
  • 2 skin-on, bone-in turkey thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, plus ½ cup chopped leaves
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 small carrots, tops trimmed to ½ inch, carrots halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Recipe Preparation

  • Season turkey with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Working in batches, cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 15–20 minutes per batch; transfer to a large plate.

  • Add onion, leeks, celery, and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5–8 minutes. Add wine, parsley, and thyme and sage sprigs; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, 8–10 minutes.

  • Return turkey to pot and add broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer until meat is tender and cooked through and liquid is reduced by half, 2½–3 hours. Add carrots and cook, uncovered, until carrots are soft and meat is falling off the bone, 35–45 minutes longer; season with salt and pepper.

  • Transfer turkey and carrots to a platter. Strain sauce; serve alongside. Top with chives and chopped parsley.

,Photos by Michael Graydon Nikole Herriott

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 400 Fat (g) 14 Saturated Fat (g) 4 Cholesterol (mg) 180 Carbohydrates (g) 12 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 48 Sodium (mg) 180Reviews SectionThis recipe was so delicious! My brother raved about how tender and juicy the legs were. And my husband, who was never a turkey fan, wants me to make this again very soon! I thought there was way too much liquid - will cut down on broth next time. and I finished in the oven- placed turkey and veg in roasting pan, poured in the liquid half way up meat , covered and cooked for amount of time in recipe. I loved that I could make this the day before Thanksgiving and only needed to reheat on Thanksgiving day!fancinancylouCoral Springs, Florida12/01/19Thank you for a great alternative to a whole roast turkey. There were only 4 of us at Thanksgiving this year (hell, yes, a FABULOUS thing), and only 3 meat eaters. We made the braised turkey legs and then went on to use the extra juice to make some yummy grave - our vegetarian sista makes an exception to have gravy on Thanksgiving, so everyone was super happy. Cheers!AnonymousBrooklyn11/23/18

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