Monday, January 26, 2015

Turkey Thighs--Affordable, Delicious

Since I live in the mountains, an hour away from the nearest Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe's, I often have to rely on my local Safeway for provisions.  Luckily, Safeway has recently expanded their section of organic, free range and grass fed meats and poultry.  And, it's affordable.  I realize that a lot of their meats are no where near from local sources.  In fact, they're coming from all over the world.  But I call it an improvement that they're there at all!

This week I found a package of two turkey thighs.  I braised them and then slow cooked them with aromatics, celery, cranberry, wine and chicken stock and served them up with local brown rice from the Sacramento delta.  Fresh cranberries are still showing up in markets, so grab them while you can.

The turkey thighs were delicious with moist meat falling off the bone and we loved the sauce.  This is the first time I've ever prepared turkey thighs.  From now on they will be a household staple.  Two turkey thighs with ample brown rice should serve 4 people.

Cranberry Braised Turkey Thighs

2 turkey thighs  (organic if possible)
2 T olive oil
2 T butter (from pastured cows)
1 onion chopped fine
1 cup celery chopped
1 garlic clove minced
3 sprigs of rosemary stripped and minced
1/2 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried sage
Generous natural sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 c chicken stock (organic)
1/2 c wine
1 c cranberries
1 T lemon juice fresh squeezed

1 c brown rice
2 c chicken stock
2 T butter (from pastured cows)

Put the olive oil in a braising pan over medium high heat and when the oil is hot, add the turkey thighs.  Brown on both sides and remove from pan.  Add the butter, onions, celery and saute until the vegetables are translucent and softened.  Add the spices, stock, wine, cranberries and lemon into the pan along with the turkey thighs and bring the liquids to a simmer.  Turn the heat down to very low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Make the rice. Bring the chicken stock and butter to a boil and add the rice.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until rice is done (check package for cooking time).

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