Recipe: Braised Turkey Legs

Braised Turkey Legs, Courtesy:
Braised Turkey Legs, Courtesy:

Why not take a break from chicken legs, and make turkey legs instead? These braised turkey legs are flavorful and affordable.

Braising (from the French word, “braiser”) is a combination-cooking method that uses both moist and dry heats: typically, the food is first seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot at a lower temperature while sitting in some (variable) amount of liquid. Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to break down the connective tissue in tougher, more affordable cuts of meat. Both pressure cooking and slow cooking (crock pots) are forms of braising.

2 turkey legs (from one 15- to 16-pound turkey), about 4 1/2 pounds
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 teaspoon chopped leaves, for garnish
4 sprigs fresh sage
4 fresh bay leaves
3 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Rinse turkey legs and pat dry; season all over with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add olive oil.
  4. Add turkey legs, skin side down, working in batches, if necessary. Cook, turning, until turkey legs are browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer legs to a plate and discard all but 1 tablespoon of rendered fat from Dutch oven.
  6. Deglaze with white wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot and slightly reduced, 2 minutes.
  7. Lower heat to medium-high and add carrots, celery, and leeks to Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add thyme, sage, bay leaves, and stock; bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low and add turkey legs, skin side down; cover and transfer to oven.
  10. Cook for 40 minutes.
  11. Uncover, turn turkey legs, and continue cooking uncovered until legs are tender, 45 to 50 minutes more.
  12. Transfer turkey legs to a serving platter.
  13. Skim fat from top of braising liquid and discard; season braising liquid with salt and pepper, and spoon over turkey legs.
  14. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and thyme.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • I substituted apple juice for the white wine and it resulted in great flavor.

Yield: 2 turkey legs (4 servings)




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