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Persian Style Turkey Leg - I got it from my Maman

Turkey Leg Persian Style

Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Persian inspired
Keyword Christmas lunch, cranberry sauce, persianised, turkey, turkey leg
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Hami


Turkey leg and gravy

  • 1 turkey leg (approx. 1kg / 2.2lbs)
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cups water (475 ml)
  • 1 tbsp slivered pistachios
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

Cranberry sauce

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (250g)
  • 1 unwaxed orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 4 tbsp granulated sugar


Cook the turkey leg

  1. A shallow casserole dish is ideal for this recipe. Alternatively a frying pan with a lid would work too.

  2. Heat the frying oil in your pan and fry the turkey leg golden brown from both sides. This should take about 15 minutes. Once the turkey leg is fried, turn off the stove and remove any excess oil.

  3. Boil the water in a kettle and peel the onions. Add water, onions, bay leaves, saffron, black pepper, and salt to the pan. 

  4. Bring the water to boil. Then reduce the heat to low, put on the lid and let everything simmer for 1h 30min to 1h 45min. After half the cooking time turn the turkey leg around to make sure it cooks evenly. 

Prepare the rice

  1. If you want to serve the turkey leg with rice, start preparing it 40 minutes towards the end of the cooking time.

Make the cranberry sauce

  1. Wash the cranberries and the orange.

  2. Remove the zest of half the orange with a zester or fine grater. Make sure to only take off the orange upper layer, not the white bit, as it will make your sauce bitter.

  3. Then cut the orange in half and juice both halves.

  4. Transfer 1/2 cup / 120ml of the orange juice in a small sauce pan. Add the sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon stick and bring it to simmer.

  5. Add the cranberries, stir well, and let everything simmer over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the sauce into a bowl. Keep in mind that it will become much thicker once cooled down. 

Serve the turkey leg and finish the gravy

  1. Once the turkey leg is cooked, remove it from the pan to serve. You can leave the sauce as it is, or give it a gravy consistency.

  2. Remove the bay leaves and transfer a few tbsp of the sauce into a cup. Add a tbsp of plain flour to the cup and stir it in until no lumps exist in the mixture. Then transfer the mixture back into the sauce bit by bit, while stirring to ensure no lumps build in the gravy. Let it simmer for 2 minutes, taste and add salt if needed, and ready is your gravy!

  3. Sprinkle the turkey leg with the pistachios and almonds. Serve it with rice, or your side of choice, gravy, and homemade cranberry sauce. Enjoy!