turkey legs in a smoky, spicy braise

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Why do we only think to serve turkey a couple of times a year? Let’s chock it up to another one of life’s little mysteries. It’s a delicious alternative to everyone’s poultry of choice – Mr. Chicken! And without a doubt – braising is the way to go! And the best part of a slow braise is you have gravy makins’ to rival any roast, any time, anywhere! Strain the liquid, remove the fat, reduce, thicken and serve – that’ll be our little gravy making secret – braising liquids beat roasty bits every single time!

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If you want your legs to fall off the bone into succulent pieces of perfection – then set your legs up for success – a quick sear over highish heat followed by a slow simmer in your liquid of choice. Could be wine, broth, beer, cider, tomato juice …  just add enough liquid to submerge the meat halfway, cover the pot and into the oven – let the braising begin! Anywhere from 2 to 3 hours later – and you’ve just channeled your inner braisin’ cowgirl (or boy)!

click here to jump down to the turkey legs in a smoky, spicy braise recipe

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1. Rinse a couple of turkey legs and pat dry.

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2. Start sprinkling seasonings in a shallow bowl.

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3. Add smoky paprika and a little cayenne for a bit of zip.

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4. Roll the turkey legs around to thoroughly coat. If you’re braising later – simply cover and refrigerate.

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5. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, drizzle in a little olive oil and start searing.

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6. Turn ’em over and keep searing.

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7. Keep turning and searing.

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8. Turning and searing – all edges need a sear.

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9. Get your braising liquid together.

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10. Add it to the pot along with a bay leaf – it should cover the meat halfway, so adjust as necessary depending on the size of your pot.

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11. Bring it to a low boil.

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12. Cover and place in the oven for 2 or 3 hours.

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13. And there you are – beautifully braised turkey legs.

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14. Remove the legs while you deal with the liquid.

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15. Liquid gold I tell you, liquid gold …

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16. Place a strainer over a container or bowl.

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17. Ladle the liquid into the sieve to catch all the bits.

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18. Pour the strained liquid into a pot and thicken with cornstarch & cold water before stirring into the simmering sauce.

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19. Using 2 forks, simply pull the meat off the bone.

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20. Until you have a big pile of juicy, succulent meat – pass the sauce and dig in!

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21. And what to do with your braised turkey beyond the obvious?

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22. Grab a tortilla, spread a little cream cheese over top, add whatever you like and finish with your braised turkey.

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23. Fold it over and brown both sides in a hot, dry pan.

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24. Just like this.

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25. Cut into wedges and serve – one of the many ways to enjoy braised turkey!

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