'Tis the season for warm and cozy dishes! There is nothing like the full sensory experience of meat and vegetables simmering away to warm the heart and perfume the home. Braised Turkey Legs with Apples is sure to become a new fall favorite.
While many people think of turkey for their holiday celebrations such as Easy Herb Butter Roasted Turkey, it can also be the perfect comforting and hearty dish to serve up any Sunday. With just a few simple ingredients, this one pot meal comes together with ease.
Braised Turkey Legs and Apples combines the classic mirepoix with rich and meaty turkey legs. This often overlooked but budget friendly cut of meat becomes tender and succulent by the slow and low braising process.
- Turkey Legs - The star of the show, this cut of the turkey is meaty, rich, and its tougher meat breaks down and becomes tender from the braising process.
- Onion - Adds both sweetness and delicate savory flavor.
- Carrots - Carrots add a natural sweetness. Combined with the onions and celery forms the mirepoix.
- Celery - Fresh, bright, and purely savory, brings both texture and flavor to every bite.
- Mushrooms - Earthy yet meaty, they add depth and umami to the braising liquid.
- Salt and Pepper - Enhances the natural flavors of all of the ingredients without overpowering them.
- Fresh Thyme - Herbaceous and citrusy, fresh time perfumes the braising liquid while adding freshness.
- Broth - Use your favorite. Both chicken broth and turkey broth work well in this recipe. if you have homemade stock, that also works.
- Apple Cider - Adds sweetness to the braising liquid while echoing the flavors of the
- Apples - Added at the end, they add both sweetness to balance the richness of the turkey legs while also adding texture.
How to Make Braised Turkey Legs with Apples
This easy braise is the ultimate one dish meal. The most labor-intensive part of this recipe is the initial prep of chopping your vegetables.
Time needed: 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Hearty vegetables and sumptuous turkey legs come together in this easy one pot meal.
- Mise en Place
Chop all of your vegetables. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add olive oil to the Dutch oven and allow it to heat through. Add your turkey legs. Allow the first side to brown for a couple of minutes before turning them. Brown all sides. Remove from the pan.
Add the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms to the Dutch oven. Sauté for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
Add the turkey legs back into the pot along with any drippings. Add the broth and apple cider. Cover and turn the heat to low. Allow the turkey legs to braise for one and a half hours, or until the turkey is tender.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Nestle your sliced apples into the Dutch oven. Bake uncovered for thirty minutes.
This same recipe can also be made with turkey thighs. Brown them the same as the turkey legs. The cook time will very.
Hard cider can also be used in this recipe. Replace the apple cider with your favorite brand of hard cider.
A Dutch oven is your best friend for this one pot meal. It easily goes from the stovetop to the oven to the dinner table. Pick one large enough to accomidate your turkey legs without crowding them.
This is one of those meals that reheats easily and is even better the next day. Leftovers can be stored for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Top Tip for Braised Turkey Legs with Apples
This recipe uses the process of braising to break down the meat and transforming it into something tender and succulent. You want to keep your heat low, and when adding your liquid make sure that your turkey legs aren't fully submerged. This will also allow the flavors of the sauce to concentrate as they cook down.
Braised Turkey Legs with Apples
- 1 dutch oven
- 2 turkey legs
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2-3 apples, sliced
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom.
- Add the turkey legs. Let the first side brown for a couple of minutes before flipping. Continue the process until all sides are browned. Remove from the pan.
- Add the onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
- Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Add the turkey legs back into the pan, along with any drippings.
- Add the broth and apple cider. Cover with the lid and turn heat to low.
- Let the turkey legs cook for 1 ½ hours, or until the turkey is tender.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Nestle the sliced apples into the pot. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.