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Citrus-Braised Turkey Legs

Cooking a whole turkey is daunting, but this recipe for citrus-braised turkey legs with brothy beans is a breeze.
3.60 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 573kcal


  • Wide pot or skillet
  • Braising pot


  • 6 turkey thighs, drumsticks, or a mix
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil for frying
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 satsuma mandarins or navel oranges, sliced into rounds, end pieces reserved
  • 1 lemon sliced into rounds, end pieces reserved
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 red Fresno chili pepper trimmed and minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2-15 ounce cans great northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 5 ounces arugula or spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for garnish, optional


Brown the Turkey Legs:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Pat the turkey dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the neutral oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the turkey, in batches, and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until browned all over. Transfer to a braising dish.

Cook the Broth:

  • Add the onion to the pot you browned the turkey in and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften. Add the end pieces of the citrus, flesh-side down, and cook until the citrus chars–about 2-3 minutes more.
  • Add the garlic and red Fresno pepper and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Braise the Turkey Legs:

  • Carefully pour the broth over the turkey legs in the braising pot. Arrange the orange and lemon slices on top and cover the dish. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the legs are very tender and cooked through.
  • Turn on the broiler and broil the skin for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven.

Finish the Broth:

  • Carefully transfer the cooked turkey legs to a serving plater and cover loosely with foil. At this point, you can pick out the citrus slices and discard them or you can keep them in the broth for presentation.
  • Place the braising pan on a burner and turn the heat to high. Once the broth is boiling, add the drained and rinsed beans and boil for 5-10 minutes or until the broth reduces slightly. Turn the heat to medium and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the arugula and cook for 3-5 minutes until wilted. Turn off the heat.

To Serve:

  • Ladle the beans and broth into shallow bowls and place a turkey leg on top. Garnish with a touch of extra virgin olive oil, if you like. Enjoy!


Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 55mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 39mg
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