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For the brine:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Acacia honey
  • A handful of rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
For the turkey:
  • For the turkey: 6 to 8 turkey legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 leafy top celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved to expose the cloves
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • A handful of thyme
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 1 bottle red wine, such as Rosso di Montalcino or Chianti
  • 1 quart turkey or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour


Serves: 6 servings


Bring brine ingredients to a boil to dissolve salt. Add ice and cool.

Pour into double-bagged 2-gallon plastic baggies, add turkey legs and let the legs brine for 1-2 days.

To cook, heat a large, wide, oven-safe braising pan or large, deep, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, about 3 turns of the pan. Remove turkey legs from brine, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. Add legs to the pan and brown 8-10 minutes on one side then turn and brown 5-6 minutes more; remove to platter.

Add another turn of the pan of olive oil along with the vegetables, juniper and allspice berries, peppercorns and herbs. Season with salt and cook to soften, 8-10 minutes. Add wine to pan and ruduce by 2/3, about 6-7 minutes. Add stock and turkey legs back into pan, keeping top half of turkey exposed. Transfer pan to oven and roast 2 hours uncovered, spooning pan sauce over the legs occasionally.

Remove legs to platter and cover. Strain sauce then place pan over medium-high. Add butter and melt, then whisk in flour. Add strained sauce to pan and cook to thicken gravy.

Serve turkey legs topped with gravy with Brown Butter Polenta alongside.