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Apple Cider-Braised Turkey Drumsticks

Braising drumsticks is as simple as roasting a whole bird and the gravy is equally delicious, but there's no worry of over-cooking, plus you can prepare the dish ahead and serve it whenever you are ready.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Four 2-pound turkey drumsticks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery (3 celery ribs)
  • 1 cup diced carrot (2 large carrots)
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey stock, chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a very large deep skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the drumsticks with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer the drumsticks to a platter.
  2. Add the celery, carrot, onion and a pinch of each salt and pepper to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cider, stock, bay leaves and thyme and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture into a large roasting pan. Add the drumsticks and cover tightly with foil. Braise the turkey in the oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and braise for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°. Carve the drumsticks and transfer the meat to a deep serving platter.
  3. Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, pressing hard on the solids. Spoon off any fat. Boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 4 cups. Season the cider jus with salt and pepper and spoon some of it over the turkey. Sprinkle with the parsley. Serve the remaining jus alongside in a gravy boat.

Make Ahead

The drumsticks can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated in the jus. Reheat gently before proceeding.

Contributed By Photo A© Alexandra Rowley Published November 2011

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