Persian pomegranate walnut braised turkey legs

"Khoresh-e-fesnjoon," a traditional Persian dish, is made by cooking chicken in a rich walnut pomegranate molasses sauce. Here is my unorthodox version, made with fresh pomegranate juice and turkey legs. Contrary to the traditional stewed version, turkey legs are braised in a pomegranate walnut sauce. Furthermore, I brine the chicken for 24 hours to infuse the pomegranate flavor into the meat.

2 turkey legs (about 4 pounds or 2 kg)
1 TSP salt
1/4 TSP white pepper
1/4 TSP  ground cardamom
2 large yellow onion, finely julienned
½ cup sour orange juice (or lemon), freshly squeezed
 cup pomegranate juice
3.5 Oz (100 gr) walnut (or almond) meal (about a cup)
Pinch of saffron

Combine the salt, pepper, and cardamom. Using your fingers, poke a hole underneath the skin of each thigh. Rub the flesh with the salt mixture. Pour the sour orange and pomegranate juices in a bag. Add chopped onions and then turkey legs. Brine for 8 hours. Add the saffron solution (dissolve a pinch in a TSP of water) and brine for up to 24 hours.  

The next day, remove the onions and legs from the brine. Pat dry the thighs with paper towel and set aside for half an hour to reach the room temperature. Meanwhile toast the walnut meal until fragrant, set aside. In the same pan, caramelize the onion slices (those from the brine). Finally, brown the legs on both sides.     

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F (or 190 C). Blend the brine liquid, caramelized onions, and toasted walnut meal and make a fine puree. Spread the thighs, skin-side-up, in an oven proof dish (definitely glass or ceramic and surely not metallic). Slowly pour the blender paste in the dish and make sure you don’t get any of the paste on the browned leg skin.  

Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for 90 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until the legs are golden brown and the sauce is thick and rich. Garnish with toasted walnut or pistachio and serve with Persian rice.