Sunday, 26 February 2012

Turkey Legs Coq au Vin

At most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, the roast turkey takes centrestage. Often however, people favour the succulent breast of the bird and little else; this is also why there is a market for turkey crowns - breast meat joints. Most of the time, the other parts of the turkey - the legs and wings - end up mostly in post-Christmas/Thanksgiving sandwiches over the next few days.

I have come across two other interesting uses of turkey legs though. A significant feature of Disney theme parks are stalls selling turkey legs. Closer to the UK, the BBC has a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for a coq au vin made using turkey legs. What intrigued me most about the recipe is the flambeing of the poultry. I have made coq au vin several times for my friends when we were all in university and had the time to prepare such food, so given the budget-themed nature of this blog, I thought this would be a fun recipe to relive those memories, using the Basics turkey drumstick.

I decided to make a few variations to the original recipe, using sliced onions instead of the small pickling ones, and using mushrooms and a packet of Sainsbury's Basics chopped tomatoes in place of all the other vegetables.

The Basics turkey drumstick, flanked by the alcohols it is to be doused in.

You would notice that the packaging for the Basics Red Wine has changed. The bottle is now plastic instead of glass.

So we start by frying the bacon in butter, along with the onions shortly after. These were then set aside in pan, and then put into an oven to keep warm at 150 degrees Celsius.

I then attempted to flambe the turkey as directed by the recipe, but I struggled to get the turkey to even cook, as it was unable to maintain contact with the pan. After a few attempts with the matches I got a brief blue flame which died out soon after, so I gave up and put the leg into the pan along with the other ingredients.

The pan was then deglazed using red wine, with the mushrooms and Basics chicken stock added soon after. This was then added to the pan, and left to cook at 150 degrees Celsius in the oven for about an hour.

The meat was surprisingly tender, and the sauce went well with it. It is however a lot of work having to carve all the meat from the turkey leg, so I am not sure if I want to do this again. I have enough to feed me for three meals though, and at £1.61 per turkey leg this works out very cheaply. This recipe would be most useful for people who already cook in bulk and have extra time on their hands.

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