Raise your hand if you prefer dark meat turkey. It’s not just me, right?
There’s so much more flavor in the legs, thighs, and wings, and I’m happy to eat them at Thanksgiving -- or anytime I can find them in the market.
(And don’t worry if white meat is your thing — you can use bone-in half breasts for this recipe, too.)
Pressure cooking turkey in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker is so much faster than oven roasting. The turkey is tender in no time.
- New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.
It’s also way easier to make the gravy since all of the cooking liquid is already in the pot, ready to be blended up and thickened (and this dijon-spiked version, inspired by this recipe, is KILLER). I love that there’s no need to scrape up pan drippings or get an extra pot dirty.
Turkey parts do tend to be more widely available during fall and winter, a.k.a. the holiday season. I’ll sometimes buy a few packs when they’re on sale the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas, then store them in the freezer for later. My parents always used this strategy, and now I do, too.
This dish comes together in just over an hour. It works well for a family dinner or a smaller holiday gathering. The gravy is savory, mustardy, and so, so good. There's enough to ladle over all the turkey and plenty for mashed potatoes, too.
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in turkey thighs, legs, wings, or bone-in half breasts (any combo you like)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as avocado or canola
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or two teaspoons fresh thyme leaves)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Sear the turkey
Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel. Season them on all sides with the salt and pepper.
Select the “Sauté” setting on your pressure cooker and heat the oil. (Or sear on the stovetop if your pressure cooker doesn't have this setting.)
Sear the turkey parts in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan too much. Sear thighs and half-breasts for about 5 minutes, skin side down; sear legs or wings for about 6 mins total, flipped once halfway through.
Use a pair of tongs to transfer the turkey parts to a dish as each batch is done.
Cook the onions and add the liquid
Add the onions and garlic to the now empty pressure cooker. Sauté until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the wine, broth, mustard, and thyme. When it comes to a simmer, add in the turkey parts in a single layer (it’s ok if they overlap a bit).
Pressure cook the turkey
Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure the pressure release valve set to its “sealing” position. Cancel the "Sauté" program, then select the “Poultry,” “Pressure Cook,” or “Manual” setting, and set the cooking time to 30 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure and then the cooking time will begin.)
When the cooking program finishes, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure by moving release valve to its “venting” position.
When the pressure has fully released, open the pot. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the turkey to a serving dish.
Make the gravy
Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cooking liquid in the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth gravy. (If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer the gravy to a regular blender, blend, and return to the pot; be careful when blending hot liquids.)
Cancel the cooking program, and select the “Sauté” setting again. Bring the gravy up to a simmer and continue simmering for about two minutes, until it has thickened. Turn off the pot.
Ladle some of the gravy over the turkey and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot, with the rest of the gravy on the side.