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Saturday, November 29, 2003

Turkey Drumsticks Braised in Cranberry Sauce Recipe

When you love Thanksgiving as much as I do, you want it to prolong it. One year instead of the traditional Thanksgiving feast at my parents house, we ended up at someone else's house. All was well and good until the following day--no leftovers! One of the best ways to relive the joy of the holiday is by eating a nibble of what you had the night before. So I suggested a second night of Thanksgiving, much like many Jewish holidays that are celebrated two nights in a row. "Who would come?" asked my mother. "We have a turkey" said my father and with that I made a few calls and the first second night of Thanksgiving was born.

Now that I am married, Lee and I spend at least part of the holiday weekend with my parents and part of the weekend with Lee's family. So two nights of Thanksgiving has become the norm for us. But I don't know whether I will ever host Thanksgiving at my house. Our apartment is too small, we only have four chairs and in any case it would be a serious break with tradition.

Cooking a whole or even half a bird for two people is not such a great idea. Too much turkey for two people to eat. My solution is to either roast a turkey breast and feast on turkey sandwiches and soup or to cook turkey legs. Cooking turkey legs mean that both Lee and I get the skin and dark meat we crave. Turkey legs can also be stewed or braised much like a lamb shank until the meat melts off the bone. This week we will have a cranberry relish (the raw one with oranges recipe right on the package) garlic mashed potatoes and probably brussels sprouts. If you want to make Thanksgiving stretch out into next week, consider doing the same. Here's my recipe for braised turkey drumsticks (apologies to Mark Bittman who I stole the idea from)

Turkey Drumsticks Braised in Cranberry Sauce


2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
2 turkey drumsticks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion peeled and sliced
1 cup stock or water, or more as needed
1 can of cranberry sauce, smooth or chunky


Heat oil in deep skillet or casserole large enough for turkey legs to fit comfortably. Turn heat to medium high add turkey legs and cook for a minute, brown on both sides (they will brown unevenly, because of their shape), sprinkling with salt and pepper. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Add 1/2 cup liquid and cranberry sauce. Bring to boil, cover and adjust the heat for to a simmer. Cook about 1 1/2-2 hours, checking every 30 minutes and adding more liquid if necessary, until meat is very tender. Taste sauce, and add more salt, pepper, if necessary.