For the past few years now (having moved far away from where I was born and raised), it’s been tradition that my dad and I (or a substitute for my dad when he’s not available) have a steak or seafood dinner at an expensive restaurant on Thanksgiving. In 2008 my dad and I ate at Kincaid’s at the pier in Redondo Beach, in 2009 my coworker Cody and I ate at 555 in Long Beach and in 2010 my dad and I ate at Ruth’s Chris, downtown Portland.
For reasons no one reading this blog wants to hear, we opted to make Thanksgiving dinner this year instead of upholding our tradition, and I’m a little bummed about the decision.
Despite wishing we were going out to eat instead of cooking turkey dinner, I had high hopes for this recipe. It was my first time cooking turkey ever. Cooking something you’ve never before tried is always exciting. Plus I figured how can you screw up cooking meat when using a crock pot? Turns out you can.
- 1/2 c. plus 1 1/2 T. butter – divided
- 1 1/2 T. olive oil
- 2 extra-large turkey Legs
- 1 c. chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 c. plus, 1/2 c. dry white wine – divided
- 3 to 4 T. chopped fresh herbs ( I used Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In large heavy skillet, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Brown turkey legs and transfer to an oiled crock pot.
- Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add one cup of wine and bring to a boil make sure to scrape up any brown bits. Let wine reduce for 2 to 3 minutes then add herbs and cook for another minute.
- Transfer mixture into crock pot. Add additional half cup of wine and half-cup of butter to the crock pot. Liberally season turkey legs with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low 10 to 12 hours or until tender. Alternatively, cook on high about 5 1/2 to 6 hours.
- Transfer turkey legs to a plate when done and let cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.
- For herb gravy: In a medium-sized sauce pan make a roux of equal parts butter to flour (I used about three tablespoons of each) cooking over medium heat until flour is mixed well with melted butter. Pour the sauce (through a strainer if you don’t want herbs in your gravy) into the roux and bring to a light rolling boil. If you don’t think your gravy is thick enough you can add additional flour but whisk it immediately or you may get lumps.
Recipe rating: 1/2
My dad and I both agreed the turkey could have used some salt. There was plenty of salt and pepper on the turkey skin but once the skin is removed there wasn’t all that much flavor underneath.
Also, do not overcook your turkey. Ten hours is probably sufficient. I cooked the legs for 13 hours (I was trying to coordinate the side dishes) and didn’t think cooking the turkey for an extra hour or so would matter. But the turkey turned out a bit dry. Nothing a little gravy couldn’t fix, but still. The mark of a good turkey is meat that doesn’t need gravy.
These bird legs would have been great if not for the lack of flavor (salt) and moisture. I’d try this recipe again but be sure not to overcook the turkey. Additionally I may try to get some seasoning down under the skin before cooking to improve on the flavor.