Herbed Turkey Dinner with Roasted Green Beans for Two (Paleo)

I've had these images, and this recipe, sitting around for weeks. On a whim, even before Thanksgiving, I made this turkey dinner after asking myself, What's the coziest, homiest thing you could eat for dinner in November? Soup was of course high in the ranks, but I wanted to make something with a bit more flare. This meal is still pretty dang simple--drumsticks, a brine, some herbs- but turkey on the table comes with a certain level of presence that says "Welcome Home!" in a unique way. 

Turkey for two is not usually all that practical, but odd-ball cuts make it easy. These drumsticks for example provide all the deliciousness of turkey on the bone, without the hours of oven time, or a months worth of leftovers. A few weeks before Thanksgiving, turkey is cheap. A single turkey dinner doesn't spoil my Thanksgiving appetite for either, actually working as more of a tease than anything else. Now that's it's January you are probably more concerned with getting back to a normal routine than avoiding turkey--and this meal is great for that! 

Brined and then slow roasted, these turkey legs bring juicy meat and crispy skin together. As they roast, they create a pan sauce that sizzles with pearl onions and green beans, which serve as a vehicle for getting that pan sauce into your mouth. Serve with a side of these Grapefruit & Thyme Glazed Root Vegetables!

Herbed Turkey Dinner with Roasted Green Beans for Two

3 turkey drumsticks

3 tablespoons salt

Water

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 orange

Pinch black pepper

3 springs of thyme

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 cloves garlic

Salt & pepper

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1 pound frozen green beans

1/2 pound pearl onions (fresh or frozen)

 

1. Place the drumsticks into a container (a zip lock works well, but so does any container in which the drumsticks can lie flat). Add the salt, lemon juice, orange juice, enough water to cover the drumsticks, thyme, and black pepper to the container, swishing around the mixture to stir it. Place turkey, covered, in the fridge for 4-8 hours. 

2. Remove turkey from fridge, and drain brine. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large oven-safe skillet. Pat the turkey dry. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and the thyme leaves. Place the drumsticks into the skillet. 

3. While the turkey browns, mince the garlic. Add the minced garlic to the pan. Turn the drumsticks every so often to brown each side. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

4. Once all of the sides have been browned, place the pan into the oven, uncovered, and bake for roughly 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the drumsticks from the pan, and dump the green beans and pearl onions in. Stir them to distribute them evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Add the drumsticks back to the pan, on top of the veggies. Bake for an addition 30-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 180°F. 

5. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.