Not Cooking a Turkey This Year

by Pamela

osso bucco recipe, cooking a turkey, easy recipe, turkey recipe

I’m not cooking a turkey this year! Wouldn’t you just love to say that? Just can’t see yourself to cooking a turkey this year? Or at least not a whole turkey? Why not just cook up a couple of turkey legs? I’m not suggesting that you have a boring Thanksgiving by just cooking up a couple of turkey legs by tossing them into the oven. I would never do such a thing to you. Nope, I’m thinking an osso bucco recipe. Osso bucco with turkey instead of veal. You’re gonna love this!

I won’t be so lucky as to not be cooking a turkey this year. One of the ‘perks’ of moving out of a small house, and into a big one, is you get to host Thanksgiving dinner for some part of your family. Lucky me, huh?

FYI…just because a recipe calls for one type of protein does NOT mean that’s the only way you can make the recipe. Recipes were made to be tinkered with. They’re a starting point.

I’m a pretty big fan of the classic osso bucco recipe. I love braised recipes. They’re usually pretty easy to put together (the oven does the hard work), they make the house smell great, and they warm the place up pretty nicely too. This turkey osso bucco recipe is no exception. Since turkey meat is so lean, it takes really well to a long, low, and slow braising…it practically falls off the bone when it’s done cooking.

Instead of cooking a turkey, why not just cook the legs osso bucco style

Something you’ll learn, when you make this recipe, is that turkey drumsticks are really big. A popular fair/rodeo food here in Texas is smoked turkey drumsticks and they always look like they came off a dinosaur, they’re so big. When I went to buy the drumsticks for this dish my choice was big and bigger. I guess you just don’t notice their actual size when they’re attached to that giant bird, but when they’re all by themselves you get to see how big they really are.

Since you don’t want to serve these osso bucco drumsticks by themselves (and they do make their own gravy – sort of) they’re perfect for serving with mashed potatoes and stuffing. I served them with mashed carrots, barley and some fresh peas for a bit of color. But I think this osso bucco recipe is perfectly suited for a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey makes a delicious twist on classic osso bucco

If you really want to go crazy this Thanksgiving, you could swap out the drumsticks for turkey breast in this recipe. It just won’t look quite as ‘picturesque’ when they’re done, as the drumsticks do (if you can call turkey drumsticks picturesque). But since most people bring the bird out to the table already cut up, no one will know. Something else I did, to make dinner easy on myself, was toss some whole carrots and cipollini onions in the pot before I shoved it all into the oven. When the bird was done, I took the carrots out and mashed them and just served the onions on the side. This gave me two side dishes without any extra work.

So make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner easy on yourself make up a big pot of this turkey osso bucco recipe and don’t bother with cooking a turkey this year.

Not Cooking a Turkey This Year
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Not cooking a turkey this year, how about a turkey osso bucco recipe? This osso bucco uses turkey legs for a new twist on an old favorite - osso bucco.
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 2 2 Pound Turkey Drumsticks
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Onions (diced)
  • ½ Cup Celery (diced)
  • ½ Ounce Dried Porcini Mushrooms Rehydrated and chopped (rehydrate in 1½ cups boiling water for 20 minutes and save water)
  • ¼ Cup Large Golden Raisins
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, crushed, (Plus 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped Fine - for gremolata)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest (for gremolata)
  • 3-4 Stems Fresh Parsley (Plus 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Chopped - for gremolata)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 5-6 Stems Fresh Thyme Stems
  • 1 Cup Dry Red Wine (cabernet or zinfandel)
  • 2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1½ Cups Mushroom Water (from re-hydrating dehydrated porcini mushrooms)
  • Coarse Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 6 Carrots, Cleaned (optional)
  • 8 Ounce Bag Cipollini Onions, Peeled (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Season drumsticks with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the turkey drumsticks and brown on both sides. Remove drumsticks to a plate and reduce heat to medium low.
  4. If Dutch oven is running dry, pour in another tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions, celery, mushrooms, raisins, garlic, parsley stems, bay leaf and thyme stems. Cook until vegetables begin to soften. Stir often so that they do not burn.
  5. Arrange carrots on top of vegetables (if using them).
  6. Return drumsticks to the pan.
  7. Arrange the drumsticks in a single layer. It’s okay if there are vegetables under the drumsticks. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Drop the cipollini onions into the pot around the drumsticks, if using.
  9. Turn the heat up to high and add the wine, 1 cup of the mushroom water and one cup of the chicken stock. The liquids will only come up about halfway on the sides of the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  10. Cover the pan and put into the oven for 1 hour.
  11. After 1 hour, remove the pan and turn the drumsticks over. Pour in the remaining mushroom water and chicken stock. Put back into the oven for 1 more hour.
  12. Once cooked, the turkey will be very tender. Carefully remove the drumsticks, and cipollini, to a covered dish and put back into turned off oven to keep warm while you make the sauce.
  13. Remove the carrots and put them in a bowl to mash or into a food processor to puree.
  14. Strain the sauce from the Dutch oven and throw away any of the solids. Boil strained juices over high heat until they are thickened slightly. Add in the chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest (the gremolata).
  15. Remove the drumsticks from the covered dish and plate with pureed carrots, barley or mashed potatoes. Drizzle with sauce and serve.


Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.


Leave a Comment