I buy a lot of ground turkey for spaghetti, burgers, meatballs, sloppy joes. I don’t really ever cook with ground beef. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t have any beef with cows (sorry about that one), I love a big juicy steak, especially if it is cooked on a hot grill and accompanied by a cold beer. Much to my mother’s dismay. The cow eating, not the beer drinking. I had never bought turkey thighs or a breast of turkey, so I bought one awhile back, threw it in the freezer and stewed over ideas for it. This is what I came up with. Simple, easy, and it tastes like Thanksgiving. And I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t?
On a side note, I used Black Swan Chardonnay in this recipe. My husband and I had just watched Black Swan the night before I made this, and we really didn’t like it (“it” being the movie, not the food). It was creepy, pretty trashy, and we thought it didn’t have a plot. No offense to Natalie Portman, her acting was superb. My husband saw the Black Swan on the wine rack and said “Throw it away!” Sorry. End of side note.
Braised Turkey Thighs with Cranberry Wild Rice
a Rachel’s Recipe Reviews Original

Braised Turkey

2 pounds turkey thighs (you could use breast too, if you don’t like dark meat) <–for my best friend
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into large chunks
3/4 cup white wine (you can double the amount of broth if you don’t want to use wine, or don’t have any)
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup whole fresh sage leaves (loosely packed)
1) Preheat oven to 325*.
2) Generously season both sides of the turkey with salt and pepper.
3) Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large oven-safe pot (with tight fitting lid) over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add turkey thighs, skin side down. Sear for 2-3 minutes, flip over, and sear for another 2-3 minutes or until turkey is browned. Remove to a plate.
4) Add in vegetables (celery, carrots, onion) and toss around until slightly softened and brown, about 5 minutes.
5) Add in liquids (wine and broth, or just broth), and scrap the bottom of the pan with a spoon (de-glaze). Add in sage leaves and turkey thighs, skin side up. You want the bottom of the turkey to be submerged in liquid, but the top of the thighs above liquid. Bring to a boil, put on cover, and move into preheated oven.
6) Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 180* when inserted into a turkey thigh.
Cranberry Wild Rice
1 cup of uncooked wild rice
water/butter/salt according to rice package
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1) Prepare rice as directed on package except add in dried cranberries with the rice. I have the quick cooking kind, so it took about 25 minutes total.
2) While the rice is cooking, toast walnuts in a dry frying pan over medium high heat. Watch closely, as they go quickly. When they are toasted and fragrant, pour them onto a plate so they don’t continue to cook.
3) Serve cranberry wild rice along side of the turkey thighs and vegetables. Garnish the rice with the toasted walnuts.
Verdict: This was so good! It really does tastes like Thanksgiving on a plate (thanks to the fresh sage). The rice was a perfect side dish.
Husband’s take: He loved the turkey. He was skeptical of the rice (as I knew he would be–dried cranberries aren’t his favorite), but he really liked it! He even said, “This is beautiful, the cranberries give a subtle sweetness.” Has such a way with words, my hubby.
Changes I would make next time: None.
Difficulty: Easy! :)

Click here for printable recipe.