Roasted Turkey Leg: It’s not just for Renaissance Fairs!

If you have ever been to a Renaissance Fair, you have undoubtedly seen the hordes of hungry revelers milling about gnawing on giant turkey legs.  Yes, there is something quite medieval about tearing into an oversized drumstick. 

Fast forward to the present day and you will find that turkey legs can have a place at even the most well-mannered table.  Today I am sharing a recipe for roasted turkey legs with root vegetables. 

The recipe I used last night is adapted from one found at The Splendid Table.  You can use a knife and fork for the turkey legs, but feel free to unleash your inner caveman.

Rustic Roasted Turkey Legs with Root Vegetables

Serves 4

  • 4 medium turkey drumsticks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 carrots, washed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, washed, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 fingerling potatoes, washed and cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (basil, rosemary,marjoram, thyme, sage, oregano)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of liquid ( chicken broth, white wine or water)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Season the turkey legs with salt and pepper.

3. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, pepper, Italian seasoning blend.

4. Spread the vegetables in a large baking dish or roasting pan lined with foil. Spread the sliced butter and pour the liquid over the vegetables. Arrange the turkey legs on top.

5. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast, turning the legs and vegetables every 30 minutes, until the meat is fork tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Remove aluminum foil after the first 1.5 hours to allow turkey legs to brown.

6. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Serve the turkey legs with the roasted vegetables.

I served this dish with Uyuni Quinoa & Whole Grain Brown Rice from Seeds of Change.  It comes in a bag that you microwave for 90 seconds and voila!  It paired nicely with the roasted vegetables. 

In addition to being delicious and easy to make, this dish is also super-economical at around $3.00 per serving!

I was inspired to make turkey drumsticks a few nights ago when I saw this NYC Facebook friend’s status post: TURKEY ON $3 A DAY (A li’l Fodor’s humor there): Now that the kids are finally down, I’m eyeballing one of the two huge turkey drumsticks I purchased at Keyfood earlier this evening, wondering how to cook it. Any suggestions?

Since this was posted after 10:00 pm, I wanted to make sure this New York City Dad knew that he had 2 hours of cooking time before dinner!  I suggested this recipe, but he thought it looked pretty *involved*.  He ended up simply roasting a leg by salting, adding lemon juice and cumin and baking at 425 for 30 min. and then turning down oven to 350 for 45 min. He reports that it was delicious and awesomely easy.  But even cavemen have to eat vegetables sometimes, right?  So even though the recipe may look involved, never fear!  It’s really just a matter of chopping up some vegetables, (if you only have carrots and onions that would work, too) tossing them with some olive oil and a seasoning of your choice, and roasting the turkey legs on the bed of vegetables, which  really adds less than 10 minutes of prep time.  (Less if you want to go for convenience over price and buy the pre-chopped vegetables). 

My Facebook friend was going to try slicing up some of the turkey leg to see how well it would go over with his kids.  Kids usually love drumsticks, so I’m guessing it would be a hit.  However, I did find this picture that seems to advise against feeding turkey drumsticks to very young children:  (LOL)

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