Don't you think turkey's rather the forgotten bird? I mean, other than Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's just not as popular as it could be which is really a pity. It is incredibly inexpensive, versatile, delicious and braised, it's darn near perfect for the upcoming autumn season.
We had the hint of an autumn day here yesterday with temperatures just a smidge under 90 and when you've been enduring triple digits for as long as we have, a 90 degree day almost calls for fleece. It certainly rang my braising bell and with the Big Guy out bird hunting for the day, it was the perfect menu item. Isn't it like having a fish in the refrigerator ready for dinner when the significant other goes fishing just in case he's skunked...and...wait for it people...a bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush. Ha...gotcha!
Seriously, gorgeous big meaty turkey thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper and dredged in flour, browned to a rich dark color are then removed from the pot and set aside while the trinity (onion, carrots and celery) is sauteed until softened. After the veg are darn near perfect, they're joined by diced leeks, lots of garlic and ginger which introduce that island flair. After the aromatics had a few minutes in the hot pot, some tomato paste joins the party followed by flour to thicken what becomes an amazing braising liquid. Cooked for a few minutes to lose the flour taste, the holy grail of the pot is introduced - dark, rich beer.
I used Black Butte Porter and to lose the bitter flavor, it hits a boil and bubbles in the caldron for a good five minutes. Topped off with a can of consomme, a touch of water and some ground allspice for another hint of the Caribbean the browned turkey thighs go back in, the pot's covered and hits the oven for a couple of hours.
Now, I know we've blogged about this before just after the Big Guy got back from St. Croix almost exactly 2 years ago, but this is a dish that cries out for a place on your regular rotation. You could make it with turkey wings or drumsticks too but the thighs I used on this occasion were absolutely superb. I just wish to heck I'd cooked more of them!
One more thing - a word of warning. You'll want to batten down the hatches, pull the drapes and make sure the door's locked, because the smell of this cooking's going to bring the neighbors calling and goodness knows you're not going to be inclined to share. It is that good!
Beer Braised Turkey Thighs
Inspired by Foodnetwork.com Emeril Lagasse, 2006 and revised from previous JBug’s Kitchen recipe
2 large turkey thighs washed and dried
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, small dice
2 carrots, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
1 leek, white part only small dice
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 - 12 ounce bottles dark beer (I used Black Butte Porter)
1 can Beef consommé’
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Heat large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil and heat till almost smoking. Season turkey thighs with salt and pepper; dredge them in flour and brown well on all sides, without crowding in hot oil. Takes about 10 minutes, total. Remove from pan. Set aside.
Add onions, carrots and celery to Dutch oven. Cook stirring until vegetables are soft – about 5 minutes. Add leeks, garlic and ginger. Cook 1 minute more, stirring well. Add tomato paste and incorporate well into vegetables. Sprinkle with flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add beer, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. (This step helps to remove the trace of bitterness from the beer.) Add beef consommé, water and all spice. Bring to a boil. Add seared turkey thighs. Cover pot and place in 350 oven for 2 hours, or until thighs are very tender. Remove cover from pot during last half hour of cooking. Serve turkey thighs and sauce on a bed of steamed rice. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serves 3 to 4 people, depending on size of turkey thighs.
A year ago - Hanger Steak with Mushroom Madeira Sauce