Oven roasted, flavourful and juicy herb roasted turkey legs for days when a whole turkey is just too much food or you are cooking for a smaller party.
I don’t know about you, but for the longest time, turkey to me was a big giant bird served almost always at big family gatherings and usually flavourless and dry. Whenever I attend these festivities, I tend to to pick out the dark meats – which I find is usually the most flavourful and juiciest part of the bird. So I took this thought and I ran with it, and came up with a juicy roasted turkey legs recipe that blew my socks away – hopefully this recipe can make it’s way into your home one day so you can also enjoy a juicy and flavourful turkey! 🙂
When I came up with this recipe, I thought about what the holidays meant to me and how the holidays are not always going to be huge family gatherings for everyone. There are a lot of situations where the holidays mean smaller (and cozier) dinners with families are overseas, or not much family in general – having a whole turkey is kinda not practical so why not just eat the best part only? 🙂
For this roasted turkey legs recipe, most ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. You can also substitute chicken in place of the turkey legs as well but you will need to adjust the cooking time and cook it for less time.
For the herbs, you can basically combo any of your favourite green herbs for this recipe but try not to over do it on the really strong flavoured ones like dill. I have not tried using fresh herbs for this since fresh herbs are expensive in the winter and my herb garden decided it wanted to give up on me this year. I will update the recipe when I can get a hold of fresh herbs again.
I put lemongrass in this herb mixture for additional flavour, this is optional but I HIGHLY recommend using it if you can get your hand on it.
Ingredients for Turkey Brine
For this roasted turkey legs recipe, I kept the brine somewhat simple and used salt, water, bay leaves, garlic and black cardamom. You can omit the black cardamom for the brine without a big difference in flavour but I highly recommend keep in the garlic and bay leaves.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Brining the Turkey to Keep it Juicy and Flavourful
Whenever I cook any type of poultry (Chicken or Turkey) I like to use a brine. It’s only a little more work but well worth the effort. The brine keeps the meat juicy through the wonderful ways of science by using the salt to draw the waters into the meat itself. I like to brine most of my meats for 24 hours.
When you are working with salt, it is also very easy to over do it which will produce a very salty meat. Through trial and error, I found my sweet spot is 1/4 cup of salt with 9-10 cups of water. Go with 8 cups of water if you prefer a saltier meat, go with 9-10 cups of water for a less saltier meat. My rule of thumb is the more diluted the brine the longer you should brine it – so a diluted brine with 4 hours of brining won’t give you great results.
This roasted turkey legs recipe is not limited to just special occasions but because of it’s long cooking time they also make awesome small Sunday dinners as well in place of roasts 🙂
One leg for you, two legs for me! 🙂
An oven roasted, flavourful and juicy herb roasted turkey legs for days when a whole turkey is just too much food or you are cooking for a smaller party.
- 4 turkey legs
- 1/4 cup salt
- 9 cups water
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 4-5 garlic cloves (roughly crushed)
- 2 black cardamom (optional)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 onion
- 2 tablespoons of oil (to make the onion paste)
- 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup of oil (any oil except olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon tarragon
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teasoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dill
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon lemongrass (optional but highly recommended)
Brining the Turkey
- In a large bowl, combine the water and salt together and stir until the salt has dissolved
- Add in the the bay leaves, crushed garlic cloves and black cardamoms (optional)
- Add in the turkey legs and brine it for 24 hours in the fridge.
Making the Herb Glaze
- In a food processor, blitz half an onion with 2 tablespoons of oil until it becomes a paste. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the onion instead)
- Melt the butter and combine the onion paste, 1/4 cup of oil, soy sauces, and herbs into 1 bowl and mix well. Set aside for later to glaze the turkey. (Note: the glaze may thicken, as the butter cools – not to worry, it will melt back into a oil once you brush it on the hot turkey!)
Roasting the Turkey
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (177C)
- Use a roasting pan and put a rack in it to suspend the turkey, so there is air flow between the pan and the bottom of the turkey. If you don’t have a rack, you can take tin foil and roughly press it together to create a rough and bumpy texture and place the turkey legs on top so it is not sitting completely flat against the roasting pan.
- Once the oven is up to temperature, place the turkey legs in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes
- Once 30 minutes is up, we can start to glaze the turkey with the herb glaze every 15-20 minutes
- The turkey legs should take between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes but use a meat thermometer to be sure. The internal temperature should be 165F (74C). When you cut into the turkey, the juices should be clear and not bloody.
- Enjoy! 🙂
- The dark soy is used to give the turkey a bit of colour and a bit of sodium. If you do not have it, you can use regular soy sauce.
- The herb glaze can be doubled or tripled with no issues if you would like to use this on a whole turkey! 🙂
- We love using this recipe on chicken as well! So if you don’t feel like turkey, switch it up for chicken! Just remember to adjust the cooking time – chicken generally cooks faster than turkey.
- Serving Size: 1 Leg
- Calories: 352 kcal
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 380 mg
- Fat: 35 g
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Protein: 34 g
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