This recipe offers a creative variation on the traditional holiday bird. A whole turkey is cut into parts and braised in a slow cooker until fork-tender. Just before serving, the pieces are broiled to produce an appealingly crispy skin.
- 1 fresh turkey, 10 to 12 lb.
- 8 Tbs. turkey paste
- 12 oz. duck fat
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 bacon slices
- Canola oil as needed
Cut the turkey into 2 half breasts and 2 whole legs. Rub 2 Tbs. turkey paste under the skin of each turkey part and place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least overnight or up to 16 hours.
Place the legs, skin side up, in a slow cooker. Place the breasts, skin side up, on top of the legs. Add the duck fat, thyme, bay leaves and bacon. Add enough canola oil to cover the turkey parts by 1 inch. Cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer’s instructions for 2 1/2 hours. Transfer the turkey breasts, skin side up, to a rack set over a foil-lined baking sheet.
Continue to cook the turkey legs until the meat is pulling away from the bone and is fork-tender, 30 to 60 minutes more. Transfer the turkey legs, skin side up, to a rack set over a separate foil-lined baking sheet. (The skin on the turkey parts will be pale.)
Preheat a broiler. Broil the turkey parts until the skin is golden brown and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the turkey parts to a carving board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving. Serves 8 to 10.