This simple braised turkey recipe reminds us how flavorful turkey can be. Braising is a wonderful way to cook meat: it cuts down on the work when energy is low and is the perfect... substitute for a whole roasted bird on Thanksgiving. Once you have it started, it is virtually worry free, even for turkey. All you have to do is let your bird slowly cook while it makes its own delicious gravy.
In a large Dutch oven pot, heat olive oil of medium heat. Season the turkey breast and thigh on all sides with salt and pepper. Add the turkey pieces to the pot, and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the turkey from the pot and transfer to a plate.
Lower heat and add the leek, carrot, and celery to the pot and sweat the vegetables. If the vegetables look dry add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Season with the sage, thyme, and salt, and pepper and continue to cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes, or until they start to get soft.
Add the turkey back to the pot on top of the vegetables. Pour the stock into the pot. It should reach halfway up the sides of the turkey. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium low.
Cook for 1 hour, then remove the turkey breast and place on a clean plate. Cover with foil to keep and keep in the oven at 200 degrees. After 30 minutes longer, remove the thigh and place on a plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
Heat the stock and vegetables in the pot over medium high and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and a thick gravy forms (see Chef Tips).
Slice the turkey and spoon the gravy over top.
If experiencing diarrhea, cook the vegetables for longer until very soft, and puree the gravy before serving.
Before you buy your turkey, measure your Dutch oven. Unless it is really large, 7 quarts or more, you may need to buy a smallish breast, so you can be sure it will fit snugly in.
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