Wanna chomp on a turkey leg like a wench at a Renaissance Faire drunk on mead? (C’mon, I know I’m not the only one.) Here’s a recipe that’ll put you on the path to turkey euphoria.
I started with a brine. I combined 6 cups of water, .33 cup of kosher salt, .5 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of rosemary, .5 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 bay leaf in a pot on medium-high heat. I stirred it to mix it well, then brought it just to a boil. I removed the pot from the heat and let it reach room temperature.
Then, I placed 3 turkey drumsticks (about 1.8 pounds) into a large, plastic Ziploc bag, and poured the brine over it. I sealed the bag and placed it in the refrigerator. Ideally, the turkey legs would’ve marinated for 6 to 24 hours, but I only had time to marinate them for 3 hours.
After the turkey was done marinating, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees. I mixed together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, .25 teaspoon cayenne powder, .5 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and .5 teaspoon pepper. I pulled the turkey out of the bag, rinsed them, patted them dry, and coated them with the seasoning mixture.
Next, I placed the turkey drumsticks on a wire baking rack in a roasting pan, placed it in the oven, and roasted the drumsticks for 1.5 hours, turning the drumsticks over after the first 45 minutes, and occasionally basting the drumsticks.
Finally, I removed the turkey from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
The turkey was juicy, flavorful, and lightly spicy from the cayenne.
Pros: Tasty and not too spicy.
Cons: Not a fast meal. Between the marinating and the 1.5 hours in the oven, this meal takes a bit of time.
Verdict: Yes, I’ll make them again, but I’ll try to carve out time (pun intended) for longer marinating time.
- 6 cups water (1.5 quarts)
- .33 cup salt (I used kosher.)
- .5 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- .5 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 turkey drumsticks (about 1.8 lbs)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- .25 teaspoon chili powder or chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
- .5 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- .5 teaspoon pepper
- Combine brine ingredients in pot on medium-high heat. Stir to mix well. Bring just to a boil, then remove from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Put the turkey drumsticks in a resealable plastic bag and pour the brine over the drumsticks. Seal the bag and place it in a refrigerator. Let it marinate for as long as possible, ideally at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix olive oil, chili or chipotle powder, paprika, rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to create a seasoning mixture. Remove the turkey legs from the marinade bag, rinse them, pat them dry, and coat them with the seasoning mixture. Try to get it under the turkey skin, too.
- Place the drumsticks on a wire baking rack in a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast the drumsticks for 1.5 hours, turning them over after the first 45 minutes. Occasionally baste the drumsticks.
- Remove the drumsticks from the oven. Let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve.