Brined and Roasted Turkey Legs

I’m a dark meat over white meat girl through and through and that applies to my turkey, too. Turkey legs trump turkey breasts every single time. They only need 1 hour in the oven, you get super crispy skin and juicy, succulent meat (even if you accidentally overcook it!) and they’re so much cheaper.

Moreover, 14 million turkey legs go unsold every year due to consumer demands for turkey crowns, so opting for turkey legs is a great way to fight against food waste. It’s a win win!

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes + brining time
  • Yield: 4 1x



For the brine (you won’t use it all, don’t worry):

  • 1 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar

For the turkey: 

  • 2 turkey drumsticks and/or thighs (800g to 1kg each)
  • 4 echalion shallots (aka banana shallots), halved lengthways
  • 1 large carrot, quartered
  • 2 large celery sticks, halved
  • 2 bulb garlic, skin-on, halved (it’s ok if the top breaks off into cloves)
  • 500ml chicken stock

For the gravy: 

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml stock (from the roasting tin)
  • ½ tbsp
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce


  1. Combine the salt and sugar until well-incorporated.
  2. Place the turkey legs on a wire rack set over a baking tray and pat dry with kitchen towel. Sprinkle the salt mixture all over the turkey legs, patting to adhere. Note: you won’t need all of the salt mixture, but it’s good to have extra as lots of it will land on the baking tray as you sprinkle. Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours and up to 2 days.
  3. Let the turkey legs sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting. Heat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan.
  4. Place the shallots, carrot, celery and garlic in a large roasting tin. Season with salt and pepper, add the chicken stock and toss to combine.
  5. Top with a wire rack and place the turkey legs on top. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through and the juices run clear, then leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. While the turkey rests, strain the turkey juices from the bottom of the roasting tin. You should be left with 400ml of stock. If not, add water to bring the volume up to 400ml.
  7. Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over a medium heat. Whisk in the plain flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking continuously, then gradually add the stock, whisking continuously.
  8. Simmer for a couple of minutes, or until thickened, then finish with the red wine vinegar, honey and dark soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  9. Plate up the turkey and serve with the gravy – enjoy

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram, tagging @zenaskitchen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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