How To: Make a time-consuming, but delicious turkey leg confit

Make a time-consuming, but delicious turkey leg confit

You thought the normal Thanksgiving turkey took forever! Wait until you try out this recipe for turkey leg confit. If you have the patience, you could make this holiday dinner one to remember. Everyone will be more than satisfied. So satisfied, that Thanksgiving will always be at your place (which might not be a good thing).

Ben Hasty demonstrates a nontraditional method of poultry preparation using a medieval-looking turkey leg. "Confit" is an age-old French method for preserving meat, first curing the flesh with spices and seasonings for 8 hours, then poaching in duck fat at low temperature for 8 hours. The steady-as-you-go process yields fall-off-the-bone juicy turkey that can be given a quick 2-3 minute broil for a nice crispy skin.


* 1 turkey leg, split
* 2 qts duck fat

Cure Mixture

* 3 tbsp kosher salt
* 1 tbsp grated ginger
* 1 tbsp grated garlic
* 1 tbsp chopped sage
* 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
* 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
* 1 tsp coarse-ground black pepper

Special Equipment

* microplane / zester
* instant-read thermometer
* oven-proof baking dish
* fish spatula


1. Add cure ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until well mixed
2. Apply cure mixture and massage into the flesh and under the skin of turkey
3. Transfer to a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours
4. Preheat oven to 185º
5. Rinse leg and thigh of the cure, pat dry and place in an oven-proof dish
6. Melt duck fat in a large pot until it reaches 180º, but do not allow to boil
7. Pour fat over the turkey, cover and bake 8 hours or until turkey is fork-tender
8. Remove from fat, cool slightly, then refrigerate 1½ - 3 hours
9. Preheat broiler on high
10. Broil turkey 2-3 minutes until skin is brown and crispy

Make a time-consuming, but delicious turkey leg confit

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