Stock-Braised Turkey Legs

Who needs pulled pork when you can have braised turkey legs? These beauties will give you a reason to cook turkey more than once a year.


  • 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal or 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 4 turkey legs (thigh and drumstick; about 6½ pounds total), patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 heads of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 red chile (such as Fresno or cayenne)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Recipe Preparation

  • Place salt and brown sugar in a small bowl and work together with your fingers to incorporate. Place turkey legs on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle dry brine all over both sides of legs. Chill, uncovered, at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

  • Preheat oven to 250°. Rinse turkey legs and pat dry. Sprinkle on all sides with flour. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook 2 turkey legs, skin side down, until skin is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer legs to a large roasting pan. Repeat with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and 2 turkey legs.

  • Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and orange, cut side down, and rosemary and chile to skillet and cook, undisturbed, until garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add wine, scraping to release any browned bits stuck to the bottom of pan. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Scrape into roasting pan with turkey legs. Pour in stock and cover tightly with 2 layers of foil.

  • Transfer pan to oven and braise turkey until leg joints wiggle freely and meat is fork-tender, 2½–3 hours.

  • Place turkey legs, skin side up, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Transfer garlic, orange, rosemary, and chile to a platter. Start with 2 cups braising liquid to make sauce. If you have more than that, set roasting pan over medium-high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2 cups. Reduce heat so liquid is simmering and whisk in butter a piece at a time, incorporating each piece completely before adding more.

  • Heat broiler. Broil turkey legs until skin is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve with pan sauce poured over or alongside.

  • Do Ahead: Turkey legs can be braised 3 days ahead. Let cool in braising liquid; cover and chill. Reheat, covered, until heated through before broiling.

Reviews SectionI tried this for Thanksgiving and was very pleased with the results. Not only was I able to make it ahead, but it was delicious, visually appealing, and for once, the family ate dark meat. Cooking the turkey breast alone on Thanksgiving morning was much easier. It's a new Thanksgiving tradition.Thank you for this recipe! I made it yesterday and it was a huge hit. Two of the legs were so huge i separates them into two pieces. They were delicious a new tradition.AnonymousSan Rafael CA11/24/17

Red Wine–Braised Turkey Legs Recipe

Why It Works

  • A long, slow braise converts turkey legs' abundant connective tissue to gelatin, leaving the meat ultra moist and tender.
  • Braising is an easy, hands-off method that makes overcooking nearly impossible.
  • Cooking the turkey in a flavorful mixture of red wine, stock, and aromatic vegetables leaves you with a ready-made foundation for a gravy.

Not afraid to separate your turkey into parts before cooking? Prefer dark meat to white? Go nontraditional this Thanksgiving with crisp-skinned braised turkey legs served in a savory red wine gravy.


    • 2 skin-on turkey drumsticks (about 1 1/2 pounds)
    • 2 skin-on, bone-in turkey thighs (about 2 pounds)
    • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 large leeks, whites and pale greens, chopped
    • 6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
    • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
    • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/2 cup chopped leaves
    • 4 sprigs thyme
    • 2 sprigs sage
    • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 8 small carrots, tops trimmed, carrots halved lengthwise
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Sweet & Sticky BBQ Turkey Legs

Made with a sweet and tangy homemade BBQ sauce, these Sweet & Sticky BBQ Turkey Legs are a simple and delicious dinner idea. This inexpensive cut of turkey meat is perfect for feeding a crowd too!

I partnered with Canadian Turkey to bring you this delicious turkey recipe! I was compensated for my time, but the recipe, all thoughts and opinions are my own as always. We really love turkey.

I’m so relieved that summer is here! We’ve got the BBQ fired up and we’re welcoming in this season with open arms! During these warm summer months our BBQ gets quite the workout. I love how easy it is to make a meal for my family right outside in the sunshine…and it’s nice to keep the cooking heat outside too! In fact, I would say that over half of our summer dinners are made on the BBQ. I find it’s the quickest, and most easy, way to get dinner on our table, especially if I’m also grilling our side dishes like corn on the cob and potatoes!

Since I started working with the folks at Canadian Turkey, we’ve been eating a lot of BBQ’d turkey recipes. Our favourite is my BBQ Turkey Breast with a Brown Sugar Rub and BBQ Sauce, and we also really enjoy trying new recipes like these Sticky & Sweet BBQ Turkey Legs.

The great thing about BBQ’ing turkey is that I can feed my family for not a lot of money. Turkey tends to be less expensive than other proteins, making it a great choice for family dinners and big get togethers. Not only that, but turkey is delicious and pairs well with so many other dishes!

For this supper I grilled 4 turkey legs to feed our family of 5. I made a delicious sweet & sticky sauce to baste the turkey legs with as they roasted, and made sure to save half of the sauce to serve at dinner. This sauce is perfection with this turkey! SO good.

I mean, just look how delicious this looks…tangy, sweet and sticky. YUM.

For a perfect summer meal, I served these Sweet & Sticky Turkey Legs with corn on the cob and roasted potatoes. Delicious. Grilling turkey is really so easy!

Brown Turkey Stock

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place turkey parts in a large, heavy roasting pan (do not crowd) season with salt. Roast, stirring occasionally (pour off accumulated fat after about an hour), until very well browned, about 2 hours total.

Transfer turkey parts to an 8- to 10-quart stockpot. Pour off fat from roasting pan discard. Place pan over medium-high heat. Add wine bring to a boil. Deglaze pan, scraping up browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Transfer deglazing liquid to pot, add remaining ingredients. Add enough water to cover ingredients by 2 inches (about 4 quarts). Simmer 3 hours over low heat. Let cool slightly, then skim fat from the surface. Pour stock through a large sieve set over a heatproof bowl discard solids. Cooled stock can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen several months in airtight containers.

The ingredients you'll need

You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make roasted turkey legs. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

Avocado oil spray: I use it to grease the rack and also to spray the turkey legs after seasoning them. This oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat roasting.

Medium-sized turkey drumsticks: Bone-in skin-on, weighing about 10 oz each. If your turkey pieces are too big, the method outlined here will not work for them. You will need to bake them for longer, and the spices will burn.

Melted butter: I use salted butter in this recipe, but unsalted should work fine too.

Seasoning mix: Sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, and paprika. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.

Combine soda, sugar, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, black pepper and onion slices in a large pot. Bring to a low boil and add turkey legs. Boil over a medium heat for about 30 minutes.

Combine the Worcestershire sauce and the oil. Coat your fingers with the mixture and rub realy well into the turkey legs, getting as much as you can under the skin. Sprinkly the dry rub over the skin, liberally rubbing into the turkey legs and under the skin. Place the legs in plastic bags, refrigerate and then take to picnic.

Preheat grill. Place onion slices on the heated grill and put the turkey legs on top of the onion slices. Grill over a medium heat for about 15 minutes watching carefully to avoid burning. Turn as needed. The skin should be crispy brown when the turkey legs are done.

Step 2: Brining the Legs

The secret to recreating that perfect smoked treat is brining your turkey legs. Because turkey is so low in fat. brining the turkey legs will make sure you have a tender, moist dish that you are proud to serve to your guests.

Dissolve the salt, pink salt, and the sugar in the water and then pour it in a 1 gallon zipper bag.

Add the meat and refrigerate in the cure for about 12-24 hours. Any longer and it can get too salty. You can then take them out of the cure and hold them in the fridge uncooked for a day or two until you're ready to cook.

-I allowed mine to stay in the solution for about 16 hours.-

1. Mix flour with salt, chili powder and pepper dredge turkey legs with flour mixture. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet brown turkey, turning to brown all sides. 3. Remove turkey to a 13x9x2-inch pan. 4. Combine barbecue sauce, water and bouillon cube spoon over turkey. 5. Cover pan with foil bake in preheated 325F. oven 1 hour. 6. Uncover and bake 1 hour, until turkey is tender, basting frequently. NOTE: Delicious teamed with pan-baked potato halves, fresh zucchini and a hot peach or pear half!


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Calories per serving: 1733

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How to Make Chicken Stock

Before you can run you must learn to walk. That’s what I was taught in my early years of cooking school. Stock is life, the heart of flavour created with bones. Making a proper stock is the foundation to cooking, and in order to have a good sauce we need a good foundation. Some people find chicken stock intimidating but it’s actually very easy.

Stock is sort of like the engine of a car, a strong engine is integral to a good car. Making chicken stock is incredibly easy when you understand the basics and I hope to give you the confidence to make it yourself in this recipe.

The Importance of Stock

Escoffier, an old school, legend of a Chef, modernized the French kitchen during the early 20th century and wrote the rules for which we adhere to in professional kitchens.

“Indeed, stock is everything in cooking, at least in French cooking. Without it, nothing can be done. If one’s stock is good, what remains of the work is easy if, on the other hand, it is bad or merely mediocre, it is quite hopeless to expect anything approaching a satisfactory result.”

Broth VS Stock VS Bone Broth

What’s the difference between chicken stock, chicken broth and bone broth?

I’d like to set this straight because I see a lot of people mix these up. Even chefs interchange stock and broth. It’s not a big deal if you know what your doing but it’s helpful to know the differences. Here’s how I would break down all three.

Chicken Stock

This is the O.G, original gangster. It must contain bones and is usually simmered with vegetables (mirepoix) and herbs for anywhere from 2-12 hours. Every Chef has their own idea of how long it should be cooked. Some say 12 hours, some as little as 30 minutes!

Chicken stock needs time because bones are dense and take more time to extract flavour than compared to meat. Stock is almost always the best option. Stock is left unseasoned so it won’t be too salty if it’s reduced later or used in a sauce. A good chicken stock will be slightly gelatinous from the collagen in the chicken bones and you will see this when it cools.

Chicken broth

A.K.A the quick chicken stock. Broth uses meat and may include bones but is generally cooked for a shorter period of time. A good example of this is using leftover bones and meat from a roast chicken or turkey to make a broth for a gravy. Chicken broth is usually seasoned and ready go and is great as a soup.

Bone Broth

Made popular in 2013 from the paleo diet, the term “bone broth” was created in a search of nutrition from health conscious individuals. It’s pretty much a stock that is cooked anywhere from 12-48 hours. The longer cooking is said to extract much more collagen and therefore healthier.

Bone broth usually has a higher price tag than chicken stock because it takes much longer to make.

The Instant Pot Stock

Instant Pot stocks are extra magical because almost all of the flavour is kept in while cooking with a lid. Heston Blumenthal did research on pressure cooked stocks and noticed that a lot of flavours are actually lost while simmering a stock on a stove without a lid. Although not all chefs agree with this and prefer the traditional way of slowly simmering a stock without a lid.

I prefer pressure cooked stocks 100% of the time for a few reasons. The first is that they save you an unbelievable amount of time. Considering that a normal chicken stock might take 2-3 hours and with a pressure cooker it’s only 45 minutes.

The second, and most important is the flavour. In my opinion, the flavour and extraction from a pressure cooked stock is always better than a traditional stock. Period.

Blanching and Roasting

This is again, a matter of preference. Roasting will always result in a deeper, darker flavour than without. I frequently roast bones before making stock but not always. In the case of this Pho recipe I don’t roast the bones before because I prefer the broth to be lighter.

Blanching is when the bones are covered with cold water and brought to a boil, skimmed and then the water is discarded. This removes impurities of a stock and is a great way to remove the “funkiness” of the stock. It’s mainly used for beef or pork bones but some chefs will also blanch bones for chicken stock.

If you want to make Jus, or a consommé, then blanching is recommended. The decision to blanch or roast the bones depends on the application and your personal preference.

What Kind of Bones Should I Use?

The best bones to use are wing bones, chicken backs and legs to make the stock rich and gelatinous. Some chefs even like to add chicken feet to make it super gelatinous, but this can also add unwanted flavours.

I like chicken stock because it can be created with the scraps of the chicken. This means no part of the chicken goes to waste and we like no waste.

Pro-tip: Save leftover chicken bones in the freezer and make a big batch of chicken stock when you find the time.

What if I Don’t Have an Instant Pot

If you don’t have an instant Pot, follow the same recipe but use a stock pot and cook over the stove. Bring to a boil, skim, and simmer for 2-3 hours lid off. Check occasionally to make sure the water doesn’t boil.

I hope I’ve answered all of your questions about chicken stock, broth and bone broth. If I’m missing something, feel free to comment below!