Turkey leg confit

Turkey leg confit

Turkey leg confit recipe

This recipe is inspired by the turkey leg I fell head-over-heels with at the Purple Pig in Chicago. A whopping leg of tenderly cooked bird that’s worthy of a bacchanalian feast.

I’ve taken the Purple Pigs idea of teaming it with delightfully crispy fried lentils, but brought in some eschallots and witlof lightly braised in pomegranate molasses and muscovado sugar as well. I find the sweet/sour/bitterness works nicely with the tender bird.

Confit often involves olive or vegetable oil – even duck fat – but I’ve gone the whole hog (quite literally) and used rendered pork fat.  The flavour that comes out of the confit turkey meat takes on another level; almost a lamb-like flavour with that beautiful collagen stickiness you feel between the teeth. Along with the herbs in the marinade, it’s truly worth the extra effort.

Turkey leg confit recipe

Turkey leg confit recipe

Turkey leg confit recipe

 

Print Recipe
confit turkey legs with pomegranate braised eschallots & witlof, fried lentils
Inspired by the turkey leg confit at the Purple Pig in Chicago, this is one delicious way to cook up your turkey drumsticks.
Turkey leg confit recipe
Course Main Dish
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Marinade
Confit
Sides
Course Main Dish
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Marinade
Confit
Sides
Turkey leg confit recipe
Instructions
Marinade
  1. Place the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a small pan over medium-high heat. As soon as the fennel begins to pop, swirl the spices around and turn off the heat. Place the toasted spices into a mortar and pound with the pestle until coarsely ground. Stir in the brown sugar, salt and cayenne. Rub the spice mix over the turkey legs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
Confit
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Take a saucepan or Dutch oven-style pan that will fit the turkey legs snugly and in one layer. Place the herb sprigs on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove the turkey from the fridge, pat dry with a paper towel and lay the legs over the herbs. Dot the whole garlic cloves around the legs. Carefully pour the lard over the turkey legs to cover completely. Put the lid on the pan and cook in the oven for approximately 3 hours.
  4. When done, leave the whole pan to cool completely on the stovetop or bench. Remove the turkey legs from the fat and lay them on a plate. See notes.
  5. Cover with plastic and refrigerate when needed.
  6. The confit step can be done a day in advance.
Sides
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Place the pomegranate molasses, sugar, virgin oil, water and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the eschallots and witlof and toss gently to coat.
  3. Lay the vegetables in a single layer in a large ovenproof dish that will also fit the turkey legs. Take the turkey legs from the fridge and nestle amongst the vegetables bake in the oven, basting halfway through. After 20 minutes, remove the turkey legs, wrap in foil and set aside. Return the tray of vegetables to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. During the baking process, heat the litre of vegetable oil in a saucepan and deep-fry the lentils for 30 seconds, to a minute. Strain them from the oil and allow to sit on kitchen towels to absorb any drips. Season with salt.
  5. To serve, arrange the turkey legs on a platter with the vegetables and lentils and drizzle over any juices left in the braising pan.
Recipe Notes

Don't throw out the used lard. You can melt it again and pour it through a very fine strainer and store it in a sealed jar or container in the fridge. Use it wherever you use oil - to fry onions, roast potatoes etc. The turkey-enhanced flavour in it can't be wasted!

Share this Recipe
  • Amanda

    A recipe fit for a king. I love this. Very well executed.

  • For some reason, I have had a fear of confit. But, after reading this, I realize my fears are unwarranted. And, while I am not a huge turkey fan (horribly un-American, i know), the legs and thighs have always appealed. I promise to give this a try over the holidays.

  • Your photos sucked me in and your method is so easy to follow that anyone could do it.

    • It sure is easy, Maureen. There really is no reason to be daunted by the confit method.

  • What a fantastic idea. It’s a great simple way to eat turkey where you dont have to worry about wrestling a whole bird. I suggest a whole platter of these. Make ahead and be very happy. Gorgeous John

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    Ever since you told me about this dish at The Purple Pig, I have been waiting in anticipation for you to grace the blog with your own interpretation. Love it.

  • Nice! I just need to find a good source of quality lard cheaper than Feather and Bone 🙂

  • Helen (grabyourfork)

    The last time I had a turkey leg was at Magic Mountain. Yours look much more tender! I’m kinda in lust with the idea of 1.3kg of pork lard too.

  • AmandaChewTown

    I read about that turkey leg in Chicago and knew it was only a matter of time! This looks simply wonderful.

  • milkteaxx

    youve made this sound a lot easier than it should be! should i give it a go?!!?

    • Of course your should give it a go. There’s nothing difficult about this!

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