Tuesday, December 11, 2012

on an easier holiday dinner.

sometimes during the holidays we overextend ourselves. and by sometimes i mean all the time. we buy too much, we eat too much, we go out too much. and it's hard to say no - giving to others and sharing delicious food and drink with friends and family we love is hard to say no to (especially since it only comes once a year!) but the worst can be when you promise too much - you'll host this, you'll bake that - and before you know it you're stressing about cleaning and buying ingredients and picking your dress up from the dry cleaners and didn't you promise that you'd go to the gym since you ate that piece of pie? that's where recipes like this one come in. maple-bourbon brined turkey legs - easier to handle than a whole turkey and still festive. in addition to the turkey, maple, and bourbon, you'll need:
salt
whole-grain mustard
black peppercorns
red chili flakes
dried thyme
granulated garlic
bay leaf
cloves
the reviews of the brine seemed to indicate it was salty, so i went by the old rule when making my brine - one gallon of water for every cup of salt. (there are also differences between using table salt and kosher salt because they have different masses, i.e. a cup of table salt weighs more than a cup of kosher salt. i would use kosher salt. if you use table salt, i would use less than a cup.) the rest of the recipe i followed exactly - throw all ingredients, except the legs, into a pot together and simmer until the salt is dissolved. let the brine cool until pouring it into a bag/bucket/bowl that contains the legs. let the legs sit in the brine for 24 hours in the refrigerator before roasting at 350 farenheit in your oven for 90 minutes.
and there you have it - a much easier, less stressful ad juicier holiday dinner. no dry meat on those bones! and let's be real, eating turkey legs is a lot of fun. while i realize that makes it sound like i rarely get out, whatever. it's true. 
enjoy your (hopefully stress-free) holidays!

19 comments:

  1. You are so right, I already feel over-stretched and overwhelmed! Turkey is not my favourite food by any means but I am intrigued by this as it contains bourbon (love) and you say it’s not dry!

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    Replies
    1. you could always try it with chicken, too!

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  2. Replies
    1. I also wish I had brushed some syrup on for about the last ten minutes. if you make it try that, too - just an idea for more flavor!

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  3. Wait those turkey legs please make some for me?! They look SO GOOD!

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  4. I am a suck for both overextending myself around the holidays and turkey legs. This recipes sounds so good (and looks good too).

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  5. This sounds great! Maple and bourbon is such a good combination. I love turkey legs, too. SO flavorful!

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  6. I've just recently come to revelation that using brine gives you not dry birds. Genius. I'm a big fan of incorporating booze into cooking as well. Way to keep it simple and stress free!

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    Replies
    1. yes - brine makes it taste better (and the booze doesn't hurt).

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  7. Love the sound of this... I'm sure that brine is delicious!! So smart to just do a couple legs but it feels like (and smells like!) you've roasted a whole turkey.

    Colleen's tiny NYC kitchen strikes again! Can't wait to try it!

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  8. Great idea and no need to Pinterest leftover ideas that no one likes anyway! I'm 8 weeks preg and sick so I've put literally no pressure to make this holiday special and guess what? It's been perfect.

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    Replies
    1. haha - exactly! I hope you feel better soon (though I'm glad it's making for an easier holiday season for you).

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  9. how delicious!! I am really looking forward to the Christmas dinner back home!

    From Paris with love, Vicky

    The Golden Bun

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  10. Where do you come up with such deliciousness??

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  11. I want to come visit your tiny kitchen and watch you do your magic so I can learn things like cutting bacon with scissors and brining. I've never brined but this sounds so delicious and moist! I am all about stress-free holidays! I have focused on decorating and shopping this Christmas season and totally not on really complicated food. I have the rest of the year to make time-consuming dinners, so I am all over easy recipes like this!

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  12. I am a firm believer that the holidays shouldn't be stressful (same with weddings!). Easier said than done, I guess. But I'm taking this as inspiration to do less planning, and more enjoying this season. =)

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  13. great idea! turkey legs are SO good and definitely fun! all my cousins fight over who gets the turkey legs during the holidays!

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