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Author Notes: This contest is actually a bit of a blessing in disguise, as it provides me the opportunity to practice ideas for Thanksgiving on a smaller scale! I used turkey drumsticks for this recipe, but you can scale up if you want to treat the whole turkey this way. Otherwise, I stand by drumsticks if you're having a small Thanksgiving gathering. One thing to keep in mind--I bought my turkey drumsticks at the market, meaning they are much smaller than, say, what you'd find at Disney World. Cooking time and measurements may vary according to size. I cooked these turkey legs low and slow, until the root vegetables beneath them were melty and flavorful. —Cristina Sciarra
Makes 2 turkey drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- sea salt, black pepper
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 2 turkey drumsticks
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small white onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium parsnip
- 1 small acorn squash
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup verjus
- 1/4 cup white grape juice
- 1 bay leaf
- Heat the oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, until bubbling gently.
- Meanwhile, pat the turkey drumsticks dry, and then season generously with salt and pepper. When the oil and butter are hot, add the drumsticks. Brown all over, about 5-7 minutes.
- While the drumsticks are browning, mince the garlic and thinly slice the onion. Peel the carrot and the parsnip, and then thinly slice those too. Peel the acorn squash, and thinly slice again, making sure to remove the innards. (You can save the seeds for toasting.)
- When the drumsticks are browned to your liking, remove them to a plate. Add the garlic and onion, and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot, parsnip, and acorn squash, and give everything a good stir. Add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock, and put the lid on the Dutch oven. Let everything cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rest of the chicken stock, the verjus, the white grape juice, and the bay leaf. Bring the liquid to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Then add the drumsticks back to the Dutch oven, skin side down, and lower the heat to medium. Close the lid and cook for 25 minutes, and then flip the drumsticks. Cook for another 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165F.
- Remove the turkey drumsticks to a plate. If you like, you can reduce the pan juices a bit, but you don't have to. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add back the drumsticks. By this time, they should have rested 10 minutes or so. Serve warm.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Thanksgiving Turkey