Friday, September 16, 2011

Apple Braised Turkey Thighs

     Next time you're looking for something different to make for dinner, try these Apple Braised Turkey Thighs from Martha Stewart.  It's a great way to satisfy your craving for turkey without going to the trouble or expense of cooking the whole bird.  The shallots and apples cook down to make a sweet sauce and the final splash of cider vinegar really perks up the flavor and gives it a sour bite.  It does take a full two hours for these to cook but it is so worth the wait and effort, the meat falls off the bones.  Brown the turkey thighs over a full compliment of coals, add the apples and liquid then remove the cover of your dutch oven during the last 30 minutes of cooking time to allow the liquid to reduce and the sauce to thicken.  After the first hour you will need to light a fresh batch of coals, top and bottom.  I made mine in my 10 inch oven but next time I will double the amount of turkey and make it in my 12 inch oven.  If you're going to the trouble of cooking two thighs you might as well throw in a couple more and have some delicious leftovers.  With cool weather approaching, give this fall flavored dish a try. 

Apple Braised Turkey Thighs
1 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 turkey thighs (about 2 pounds total)
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 Cortland or Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
2 cups apple cider
14.5 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp cider vinegar

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Season turkey with salt and pepper.
     Place turkey thighs skin side down in olive oil in dutch oven.  Add sliced shallots.
     Heat over a full spread of coals for 10-15 minutes or until turkey skin has browned.
     Turn turkey over, skin side up; add apples, cider and chicken broth.
     Cover and place as many coals on the lid as will bring the liquid to a strong bubble.
     Simmer for one hour.
     After one hour replenish with fresh coals and cook with lid on for 30 more minutes.
     Remove lid for last 30 minutes of cooking time allowing liquid to reduce and applesauce to thicken.
     Total cooking time is 2 hours.
     Remove dutch oven from heat and transfer turkey to a plate.
     Skim fat from cooking liquid and stir in vinegar.
     Slice meat off bones and serve turkey with apples and pan sauce.
     Serves 4.

Brown turkey and shallots in olive oil

Add cider, chicken broth and apples

After the first 90 minutes, remove lid and allow liquid to reduce and sauce to thicken

Serve tender, moist turkey with tangy applesauce

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