As you know a week or so ago we went on Island cooking adventure, exploring the flavors of St. Thomas, St. Croix and other parts of the Caribbean. We so fell in love with the tropical flavors, I decided to kill two birds with one stone so to speak and cook our Thanksgiving turkey feed Caribbean style. There's only one word that adequately describes the result - TERRIFIC!
Since it's a little difficult to find a fresh turkey bird in these parts right now with U.S. Thanksgiving a little more than a month away, and I'm not crazy about buying the frozen variety, I hit my friendly butcher at Sprouts and bought turkey legs. Though a little on the small side, not only were they incredibly inexpensive, but with a smile and a request he happily cut them crosswise for me osso bucco style. As you can see, the proof is in the pot.
This recipe is courtesy of Emeril and I for one thank him sincerely from the bottom of my heart. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/caribbean-style-braised-turkey-legs-recipe/index.html The turkey leg pieces are browned, then braised along with onion, carrots, celery, ginger, garlic, some Guinness stout and beef stock and a little tomato paste to make one of the most incredible braises I've ever tasted. I pretty much followed his recipe, except that I doubled the ginger and garlic because we happen to absolutely love the combination. I also cooked it in the oven at 350 rather than on top of the stove - that way I could ignore it for the whole 2-1/2 hours of cooking time. As for the prep time - it did consume a little more of the afternoon than I anticipated, so I have to apologize for the light quality in the pictures. It was pitch dark by the time dinner was on the table, so next time I make it I'll start earlier AND for sure I'll be making a bigger pot of it too. This is a super way to make use of the tougher parts of the bird and the big guy thought it would be great made with turkey thighs as well.
Served on a bed of rice along with some roasted butternut squash, the flavor is amazing, particularly when you get a piece of the turkey skin which thanks to a good sear is as crisp as can be. The sauce is silky and spicy all at the same time, and has an unexpected crunch when you get a taste of the ginger. It was a fabulous celebration of both Island cooking and the season of thankfulness (is thankfulness a word?). I'd make it again in a heartbeat.