These juicy, delicious and easy roasted turkey legs are great for guests or food for the weekend.
Roasted turkey always makes you feel festive in one way or another. It’s the best for the weekend, especially after a long week like the one we’ve had.
If you’re waiting for some special guests, if they’re friends or family or somewhere in between, it’s a great meal for sharing. Maybe that’s what makes it so festive, the fact that the legs are probably just too big for one person to handle (except for Bernard of course) and so you just have to share.
This recipe today is simple but delicious, meaning that you get a lot of flavor by doing very little work. The secret here is to cook the turkey legs low and slow. Not the usual roasting temperature of 180°C, but even lower.
The other trick is to rest the legs on a bed of vegetables and herbs. This causes their flavor to soak into the turkey legs, making them not just juicy and falling off the bone, but also very tasty.
If you, like us, have a baby or young child to feed, or you would like to make this meal more healthy, you can cut out the gravy and just serve it with steamed vegetables, rice, or a sweet, tangy spinach pomegranate salad.
Roasted Turkey Legs
PREPARATION TIME: 3o minutes
BAKING TIME: 2 – 2 1/2 hours
TOTAL TIME: 2 1/2 – 3 hours
What do you need?
- 4 turkey legs
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 medium onion
- 3 medium purple carrots
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 leek
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 15 sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- salt and pepper to taste
For the gravy
- 50 ml dry red wine
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream
How do you make it?
Preheat the oven to 140°C and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Remove the turkey legs from the fridge and top with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Chop the vegetables (carrots, celery, leek, onion). Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add the vegetables, herbs and crushed garlic. Sautee until it becomes nice and soft. Add a little bit of boiled water and the bouillon cube, and let it stew for a few more minutes.
Put the vegetable mixture in the roasting pan and set it aside.
Heat the oil in another pan over medium heat and add in the turkey legs. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry the turkey legs in the pan for about 5 minutes each side until it is golden brown.
Place the turkey legs on top of the vegetable mixture and let it rest for a few minutes so that the turkey would absorb the flavor from the mixture.
Place the turkey in the oven and roast uncovered for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender and falling from the bone. When it is done, remove from the oven. Transfer the turkey legs to a dish, covered with foil, and let it rest.
For the gravy, you’ll need the pan juices, so strain the vegetable mixture and discard the vegetables. Add the juices to a saucepan over medium heat, and then add the wine. Let it boil to remove the alcohol. Add the lemon juice and brown sugar, and then mix in the cream.
If you’d like to make the gravy thicker, add some flour and whisk continuously to the desired thickness then remove from heat.
Now you are ready to put your turkey leg on the plate, covered in the delicious gravy, and sprinkled with chopped rosemary.