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Get ready for the most indulgent way to prepare your turkey centrepiece – preparing confit drumsticks ensures juicy and tender meat. What's more, this recipe is perfect for getting ahead with cooking and takes the pressure off on the big day. See method
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Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. To make the confit turkey legs, season the drumsticks, rubbing into the skin, and put in a very deep roasting tin where they fit snugly, with at least 5cm between the top of the legs and the top of the tin. Add the herbs, 3 jars of goose fat and the garlic. Bake for 10 mins to melt the fat, then check that the drumsticks are submerged, adding another jar of fat if needed. Cover with foil, reduce the oven to gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C and roast for 2½-3hrs until the meat is pulling away from the bones and very tender. Leave to cool to room temperature.
For the crown, preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Calculate the cooking time with the pack instructions. Pat the turkey dry with kitchen paper and put in a roasting tin on top of the onions.
Mash the butter with the herbs and garlic; season. Make a pocket between the turkey skin and meat and press half the butter into the pocket, massaging it into the meat. Use all but 2 tbsp of the remaining butter to rub over the outside of the skin in a thin layer. Cover loosely with foil and roast for the allotted time.
When the turkey has 30 mins left, remove the foil and brush the skin with the remaining butter. Cook uncovered for the final 30 mins, increasing the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C for the last 10 mins until golden and cooked through. The centre of the turkey should register 70 ̊C on a meat thermometer and the juices should run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part. Cover loosely in foil for 30-45 mins to rest.
Meanwhile, reduce the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Remove the confit turkey from the fat. Discard the skin and bones and shred the meat into large chunks. Transfer to a baking dish, cover with foil and roast for 25-30 mins or until piping hot. Strain off the remaining fat, then season well. Serve with the crown (discard the onions) garnished with extra herbs, if you like.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Prepare the drumsticks to the end of step 1, but put the unroasted shredded meat in a freezer-proof container and pour over enough fat to cover the meat. Freeze for up to 1 month, or chill for up to 2 days. Defrost overnight in the fridge; bring to room temperature 1 hr before cooking. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.
See more Christmas turkey recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.
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