Braised Turkey Legs wth Crisp Pancetta and Parsley
Turkey legs cook up deliciously tender when braised. Just before serving, the meat is garnished with crisped pancetta, which gives it the same satisfying crunch as crackly, roasted skin.
2 to 3 Tbs. olive oil
2 skin-on, bone-in turkey drumsticks (about 1-1/2 to 2 lb.)
2 skin-on, bone-in turkey thighs (about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large white onion, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
3 whole cloves
2 dried bay leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbs. tomato paste
3 cups unsalted turkey or chicken stock
1-1/4 cups dry white wine
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large 7- to 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the drumsticks and thighs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear the turkey parts until well browned on both sides, 8 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer the turkey to a rimmed baking sheet. Add the onion, garlic, cloves, bay leaves, and oregano to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, wine, and pepper flakes, and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Return the turkey and any juice to the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, partially cover, and simmer gently until the turkey is very tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and let the turkey cool, covered, in the braising liquid for 1 hour.
Transfer the turkey to a cutting board. Remove and discard the skin, then take the meat off the bone in large pieces. Strain the sauce through a medium-mesh strainer into a saucepan and keep warm or, if making ahead, a heatproof storage container large enough to hold the sauce and the meat. Return the turkey to the sauce.
To serve, gently reheat the turkey and sauce, if necessary. Cook the pancetta in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and let cool briefly. Crumble or coarsely chop the pancetta. Stir 1 Tbs. of the parsley into the turkey and sauce. Transfer the turkey and enough sauce to keep it moist to a rimmed serving platter. Transfer the remaining sauce to a gravy boat. Top the turkey with the pancetta and the remaining parsley. Serve with the sauce on the side.
Make Ahead Tips
The turkey may be cooked up to 2 days before serving. Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate with the sauce in a covered container. When ready to serve, reheat and garnish with pancetta as directed above.
nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320, Fat Calories (kcal): 130, Fat (g): 14, Saturated Fat (g): 4, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Cholesterol (mg): 155, Sodium (mg): 500, Carbohydrates (g): 4, Fiber (g): 1, Sugar (g): 2, Protein (g): 35