How to Make Turkey Confit

Take this year's Thanksgiving bird to the next level by separating the breast and legs to cook each to perfection.

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

Photo By: Heather Ramsdell ©Food Network 2016

The Ultimate Turkey Dinner

Perfectly cooked legs and breast meat happen at two different times in the process of cooking a turkey. In this recipe, we separate each part and cook it in the most delicious way we know how to give you the best of both worlds. It's a little involved, but worth it for the year's biggest feast! 

 

Photography by Heather Ramsdell

Get the Recipe: Turkey Leg and Wing Confit with Roasted Breast

Mix the Brine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, minced garlic and shallot plus chopped fresh thyme, rosemary and bay leaves all come together to make up the dry brine for the legs and wings.

Cover the Legs and Wings

Pat the brine all over the legs and wings. Leave the brine on overnight to saturate them with flavor.

Clean off the Brine

Wipe off the herbs and spices before cooking the legs and wings. These flavorings have done their job.

Simmer in Fat

This recipe uses an extravagant amount of oil or fat. You can use saved turkey fat, chicken fat, lard or olive oil. Save and reuse the oil in other recipes — it's so flavorful. Cover the legs with the oil in a pot and bring to a low simmer.

Stuff the Turkey Breast

Next up: More flavor. Stuff the breast with orange, herbs, garlic, shallot and friends, and season it all over. Turkey breasts can handle more salt than you might think. It's a tight squeeze but keep on stuffing.

Prop Up the Breast

Make two foil balls and prop them under either side of the turkey breast, sort of like Princess Leah's hairdo. If you don’t prop up your turkey breast, it will tip over and cook unevenly.

Brush with Fat

As the legs simmer away, brush some of that delicious cooking fat onto the breast. This is now ready to roast.

Cook Until Tender

Meanwhile, let the legs continue to simmer slowly. We don't want to fry them, but to let the heat slowly cook and tenderize the meat.

Crisp Them Up

Once it's cooked, add some of the oil to a hot pan and crisp the skin. They should be a nice deep brown color. 

Carve the Breast

When the turkey breast is cooked, let it rest. Tip it up onto the thicker part, and remove the two breast lobes.

Slice Before Serving

Cut the breast into thick slices.

Serve the Hungry Crowd

Serve on a platter, simply decorated with parsley or baby arugula. The bird itself is impressive enough; it doesn't need much!