Chestnuts (and turkey thighs) roasting on an open fire.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 3 hours 30 minutes
2 turkey thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup duck fat
4 sprigs sage
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sprig thyme
1 1/2 pounds bacon, finely ground
2 1/2 pounds peeled chestnuts
2 ribs celery, roughy chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 cup brandy
8 cups chicken stock
4 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 1/4 cups milk
1. Prepare an immersion circulator to 150°F|65.5°C. Season the turkey thighs with salt and pepper and place in a vacuum-sealable bag along with the duck fat, sage, garlic, and thyme. Seal the bag and place in the circulator. Cook for 2 1/2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, make the soup. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon, stirring, until crispy, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Add the chestnuts and cook until golden, 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chestnuts to a bowl.
4. Add the celery, carrot, and onion to the saucepan and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 of the chestnuts and the brandy and cook until the brandy is reduced by half, 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cream, and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Working in batches, purée soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the turkey thighs from the bag and heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the thighs and cook, skin-side down, until crispy, 9-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board.
6. To serve, divide the thighs between bowls. Top with some soup and reserved chestnuts. Sprinkle with bacon.