1cupunsweetened dried cranberriesI used homemade, if you can’t find unsweetened use naturally sweetened dried cranberries
Zest of one orange
To thicken the sauce
1½cupwhole wheat flour – sifted and toasted
For the sauce and added chunks of meat
Coat a large, heavy skillet generously with cooking spray or olive oil and heat over very high heat.
While this is happening, mix all the spices together in a large plate. Dredge the chicken legs in that spice mixture making sure that all sides are well coated.
Add the legs to the hot pan and sear them nice and good on both sides, until a nice crust forms, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Transfer the legs to a large stock pot, cover with water and add the leftover spices that didn’t get used to coat the turkey legs, plus the onion, savory and coriander.
Bring that to a boil then lower heat, cover partly and simmer until meat falls loose from the bones, about 2½ to 3 hours.
Remove the legs from their cooking liquid (but do not discard it) and allow them to cool for a while, until you can safely handle them and remove all the meat from the bones. Discard bones; set meat aside. Return cooking liquid to the stock pot (you might want to strain it first). Add an extra 4 cups of liquid and bring it to the boil, then lower heat to keep in on a slow simmer.
For the meatballs
Cut the bread into small cubes and place it into a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk and mix really well to coat evenly. Let the bread soak until the buttermilk is pretty much completely absorbed.
Meanwhile, cut the turkey breast into small cubes and grind it in 2-3 batches in your food processor, on pulse, until it has the consistency of ground meat.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add spices, onion, soaked bread, chestnuts, cranberries, orange zest and parsley and mix well with clean hands.
Form into approximately 70 meat balls (roughly the size of a ping pong ball).
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and sear the meatballs (you will have to do that in several batches) until nice and golden all around, then transfer the balls to the stock pot that’s holding the turkey leg cooking liquid.
Add water if necessary and adjust seasoning. Cook the meatballs for at least one hour on a slow simmer.
Add the reserved turkey leg meat and simmer for another 15 minutes.
To thicken the sauce
Meanwhile, sift the flour to remove the bran (unless you don’t mind having bran in your sauce, I prefer mine to be smooth) and toast the flour over medium high heat in a dry skillet, constantly whisking until the flour takes a nice hazelnut brown color and starts to smell really good.
Turn off the heat and very slowly add a few ladles of the broth to the flour and whisk until smooth. Be careful as the flour might sort of “explode”, so proceed very slowly. Add a few more ladles and again, whisk until smooth. Continue adding broth until you end up with a very thick sauce.
Transfer that sauce back to the stock pot and very carefully mix it in with the rest of the stew.
Simmer for another 5-10 minutes just to finish cooking the flour and serve.
This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and can be frozen for several weeks. Just make sure you reheat it over very low heat and add a little bit of water to help loosen it up, as it will get very thick when cold.