Lobster Stuffed Turkey Thighs with Fixings
© Chef Jesse Vergen
This is a recipe we developed to combine a common tradition in southern New Brunswick… Christmas lobsters, and turkey dinner! Not only do the turkey and lobster work well together but the whole dish screams happy holidays!
2 – 2lb New Brunswick Lobster
2 – bone-in skin on turkey thighs
1 white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of diced bacon
1 red onion, sliced
1 cup of any white wine
2 cups of turkey stock
1 tablespoon of summer savory
Salt and pepper
1/2 loaf of day-old sourdough bread, cubed or torn
12 brussel sprouts, steamed, flaked into leaves
pickled cranberries for garnish
For the stuffed thighs:
Cook the live lobsters in boiling salted water (or ocean water) for 12 minutes then shock in an ice bath. Remove the meat from the shells and refrigerate, reserving the shells for your gravy.
De-bone the turkey thighs and place the meat between layers of plastic wrap and give a light pounding with the skin side down. Refrigerate the meat, reserve the bones and proceed to making the gravy.
About an hour before dinner prepare the thighs. Divide the reserved lobster evenly onto each leg, season with salt and pepper then fold each thigh into a cylinder, securing with butcher string.
Roast at 350 until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165°F, about 35 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.
For the lobster gravy:
Place the reserved lobster shells, turkey bones, giblets, onion, carrot, and celery in a roasting pan and bake at 350°F until the bones achieve a deep brown color, about 25 minutes.
Transfer the roasted mixture to a large stockpot, cover with cold water and simmer for 3 hours.
Strain the works, discarding the solid bits. Reserve 2 cups of stock for the Bacon Gravy, then reduce the remaining liquid by about 1/3 to intensify flavors. Combine the flour with an equal amount of water and whisk smooth. Add to stock, whisking to ensure a smooth consistency. Heat through and season with salt and pepper.
For the bacon dressing:
Over medium heat, cook the bacon until barely crisp. Add the red onions, slowly cooking them down till they are soft and tender, 3-5 minutes.
Splash in the white wine and take a minute to loosen all the crunchy brown bits. Pile in the turkey stock, savory, some salt and pepper and bring the works to a boil. Remove from heat, add the bread and stir well to soak the bits. Turn into an oven-proof dish and bake uncovered at 350°F for 30 minutes. Keep warm.
For the finish:
Ladle a pool of bacon dressing on each plate. Remove the string from the thighs, then slice each in 6 pieces. On each plate arrange a mound of bacon dressing, layer 3 stuffed turkey slices, drizzle with lobster gravy and garnish with brussel sprout leaves and pickled cranberries. Your guests will thankful when they see you roll this out!