Turkey legs are definitely not only for Thanksgiving. They can be perfect for a simple weeknight meal too. Don’t worry. These won’t require hours of cooking time. Brine them in the morning and come home to roast them in the oven for about 45 minutes. These legs were juicy and flavorful. No need to worry about the dry and rough turkey meat.
Roasted Turkey Legs (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
– 4 turkey legs (drumsticks only)
– 6 – 10 ice cubes (optional)
– 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
– 1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning (or any other seasoning blend)
– 1 teaspoon onion powder
– ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
– vegetable oil or cooking spray
– 7 cups water
– 1/3 cup kosher salt
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup light brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning (or any other seasoning blend)
– 1 small bay leaf
- In a medium pot, combine all the ingredients for the brine. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Add the ice cubes in the mixture to cool faster if needed. Transfer the mixture to a large container.
- Pat the turkey legs dry with paper towels. Submerge the turkey in the mixture. Cover and brine in the fridge for 4 – 10 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly greased the surface.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon steak seasoning, onion powder, and salt.
- Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels. Rub the chili powder mixture all over the turkey legs, getting under the skin if possible. Place the turkey on the prepared baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 300˚F and roast for another 15 – 20 minutes or until turkey is cooked through. The internal temperature for a cooked turkey leg should be 175˚F. Remove the turkey from oven and serve immediately.
- If you want to, you can make the brine the night before and let it cool in the fridge overnight.
- If you do not have a big container, you can put them in two separate big ziplog bags. Then, put the bags on small baking sheet.
- The turkey legs that I used were about ¾-pound each.
- The cooking time may vary. It depends on the size of the turkey legs.