Massaman-Curry Turkey Osso Buco
© Con Poulos

Massaman-Curry Turkey Osso Buco

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS: 12

Chef Lulzim Rexhepi cuts turkey legs crosswise before simmering them first in broth, then in a delightful Thai red-curry sauce. This version skips the broth. To simplify the recipe more, have your butcher cut the drumsticks, or just cook them whole.


  1. One 5- to 6-pound turkey breast, back bone removed
  2. 3/4 cup salted roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  3. 1 bunch cilantro, a few leaves reserved for garnish
  4. 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, bruised
  5. 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
  6. Five 1-inch-wide strips of lime zest
  7. 3 shallots, halved
  8. 5 garlic cloves
  9. 12 cups water
  10. 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing
  11. 6 pounds small turkey drumsticks—bottom 2 inches discarded, drumsticks halved crosswise through the bone
  12. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  13. 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  14. Two 14 1/2-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
  15. 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  16. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  17. 1/2 star anise pod
  18. One 2-inch cinnamon stick
  1. In a large pot, combine the turkey breast with the 3/4 cup of peanuts, the cilantro, lemongrass, ginger, lime zest, shallots, garlic and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey breast registers 160°, about 1 hour. Carefully transfer the turkey breast to a roasting pan.
  2. Strain the broth into a heatproof bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Skim off the fat. Return the broth to the pot and boil until reduced to 8 cups, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a very large, deep skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of oil until shimmering. Season the turkey osso buco with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook over high heat, turning once or twice, until browned all over, 15 minutes. Transfer the turkey osso buco to a platter.
  4. Add the curry paste to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the coconut milk and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add the turkey broth, fish sauce, brown sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Return the turkey osso buco to the skillet. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat until tender, 1 hour.
  5. Transfer the osso buco to a platter; cover and keep warm. Discard the star anise and cinnamon stick. Boil the sauce until thickened and reduced to 6 cups, 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Skim some of the fat from the surface and return the turkey osso buco to the sauce. Cover and keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°. Rub the turkey breast with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the turkey for 20 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the turkey is heated through. Thinly slice the turkey breast and transfer to bowls along with the osso buco. Ladle the sauce on top, garnish with peanuts and cilantro and serve.
Make Ahead
The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated overnight. Return the turkey breast to room temperature before roasting.

Suggested Pairing

Vibrant, medium-bodied Spanish red.