turkey titled 682x1024 Turkey Legs & Rice Casserole

Hi! Are you wondering why I’m here on a Sunday?

This wonderful girl named Paola, author of World on a Plate, asked me to consider joining her cooking group, World on a Plate, once a month by cooking up something from my neck of the woods. Or my ex neck of the woods, but always in my heart neck of the woods, Macedonia. I had to accept. Anything to talk about my home country and about its awesomely delicious food.

World on a Plate is a monthly blogging cultural exchange where a group of bloggers from different corners of the world get together once a month to “interpret a food through the lens of their home country cooking”.

turkey 3 728x1024 Turkey Legs & Rice Casserole

For this month’s challenge, and I call it a challenge because Macedonia and turkey (the bird) are two very different concepts, the group decided on a turkey for obvious reasons.

Um. What? I don’t remember my grandma serving a turkey. I know my Mom does, but that’s only because we moved here to the States. Before that she didn’t even know that turkeys were edible. Her words, not mine.

After some “what am I gonna make… who should I ask, where will I go…”, a light bulb went off! Bela Tava! Repeat Bella Ta-Va. Which means, White Casserole. Normally you would make this with chicken drumsticks, but I’ve added turkey legs instead. So, it’s Turkey Legs and Rice Casserole instead of chicken drumsticks. I hope my ancestors aren’t turning in their graves because of that switch up. Sorry guys.

turkey 1024x682 Turkey Legs & Rice Casserole

Surprisingly, this was very very good. The turkey legs took longer to cook, but other than that I didn’t have to change much of anything. This would be a really good Thanksgiving Dinner for a smaller group of people, don’t you think?

ENJOY!

Turkey Legs & Rice Casserole

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 00 minute

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 Turkey Legs
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup long grain rice

Instructions

  • Place the turkey legs in a 4-qt. soup pot and cover with water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to cook for 45 minutes.
  • Pour the olive oil in a casserole dish and place it in the oven; turn the oven on to 425.
  • Dice the onions; take the casserole dish out of the oven and add in the onions and the salt.
  • Put back in the oven and continue to cook until soft; about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Take out the casserole dish, take the broth from the soup pot and pour it over the onions.
  • Stir in the minced garlic, parsley, thyme, and nutmeg.
  • Taste for salt and pepper.
  • Mix in the rice.
  • Place the turkey legs on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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11 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Hyosun Ro November 19, 2012 at 9:36 PM - Reply

    It’s interesting to know that most of us in the group had the similar problem with turkey. We didn’t grow up eating it. But it’s so wonderful to see how everyone creatively pulled this month’s event together. Those turkey legs looks absolutely delicious in the rice casserole. Great photos as well. It’s very nice meeting you through World on a Plate.

  2. Liz November 18, 2012 at 9:33 PM - Reply

    Ooh, this looks so yummy! I’ve just recently come to like turkey legs even better than the breast. Great concept for a cooking group….and Macedonia is a bit more exotic than say, Indiana ;)

  3. Jeanette November 18, 2012 at 9:10 PM - Reply

    Love the simplicity of this homey dish!

  4. Sandra's Easy Cooking November 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM - Reply

    mmm..this look so good Kate! I love turkey, but much like you growing up we ate chicken, pig or lamb :) Turkey was really rare occasion. Love the combo, and I usually add some potatoes with the rice. Very yummmy meal!

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM - Reply

    I love nutmeg in a white casserole!

  6. Julianna November 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    Turkey in Macedonia is more of a Christmas tradition. My grandmother used to purchase a live turkey a few months before the holiday along with a large bag of walnuts.(some of which were used for her delicious baklava) Our old family tradition was to care and feed the turkey every day with one whole walnut all the way till Christmas. I remember watching her do that too… Maybe that would be considered animal cruelty now… her secret recipe was very simple, the turkey was unbelievably unforgettably tender and tasty.
    The rice dish was prepared with leeks and marinated cabage… makes a delicious and different stuffing! Love your post!

    • Kate@Diethood November 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM - Reply

      I had no idea that turkey was a Christmas thing by us. Honest. I thought it was a totally new concept. I remember pig roast for Christmas and Lamb for Easter. :) If you have the exact recipe for the turkey, I’d loooove to try it!!

  7. Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) November 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM - Reply

    This looks great, Kate. Looking forward to seeing more recipes from Macedonia. :)

  8. PolaM November 18, 2012 at 9:23 AM - Reply

    Oh my! That looks delicious!!!! Great first appearance!

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