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Hard Cider Braised Turkey Thighs and Apples


Tender turkey and tartly sweet Granny Smith apples are braised in a delicious combination of cider and Chinese five-spice powder. An epic comfort meal for chilly holiday nights.

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
3 turkey thighs
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and thickly sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 ounces (1½ cups) hard apple cider*
1 cup chicken stock
6 fresh sage leaves
2 bay fresh leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large, braising pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season thighs evenly with five-spice powder and salt. Sear the turkey thighs until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer the thighs to a plate.

Place the apples, shallot and garlic in the pot and reduce heat to medium. Sauté until the apples and shallot have soft ened, about 5 minutes.

Place the thighs back in the pot on top of the apples. Add cider, chicken broth, sage and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover and place in the oven. Braise for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the thighs to a clean plate and cover with foil. Return the pot to the stove and heat over medium heat. Remove the sage and bay leaves. With a fork, lightly mash the apples. Stir and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until reduced into a thick chutney-like sauce. Serve the turkey thighs with the sauce.

* Local Bishop Cider Co. would be a good choice for a hard cider.

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MEREDITH STEELE is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and author of InSockMonkeySlippers.com, an award winning family food blog celebrating creative and fresh foods. Her recipe development and photography company, MBS Recipe Development specializes in multimedia recipe development for commercial and small business who’s clients include everyone from Ziploc® to small wineries. Meredith’s work has been published online, in various print media, and has been nominated for the SAVEUR awards. She can also be found across the pond writing a monthly column for JamieOliver.com. When Meredith is not in the kitchen, she’s roaming Dallas, Texas with her husband, curly-headed pixie of a daughter, and big floppy-eared dog.

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