Turkey Legs

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Some of you were probably wondering if and when I was going to publish a post relating to Thanksgiving. For some of you who are not aware of American holidays, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated around November in the USA and on October in Canada. This holiday was originally celebrated as means to give thanks at the conclusion of harvest season.  While Thanksgiving has some historic roots in religious traditions, it is generally celebrated in a secular manner. You may wonder what does turkey have to do with anything. Although juicy and tender butterball turkeys are the main cuisine of today’s Thanksgiving celebrations, these birds were NOT the most popular centerpieces on the first Thanksgiving tables. In 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians celebrated the first Thanksgiving, they were consuming a lot more food than just turkey. Roasted goose was popularly eaten around harvest season. When the pilgrims arrived in America, they discovered turkey  and decided to nominate roasted turkey as the main cuisine because wild turkeys were more abundant and easier to find than geese.

I decided to make and serve turkey legs. I would have preferred a whole turkey but my oven is not big enough to fit on it. Besides I was only preparing a meal for 2. Whole turkeys are not available on a daily basis where I live. You would have to go to your local butcher shop or supermarket and order it in a week advance. Turkey legs,however, are available in packs of 2 or 3. Turkey legs had to suffice for now. This recipe that I’m about to share with you would work on a whole turkey. In fact, I would use this recipe for a whole turkey and include a herb margarine filling inside. But if you want your Thanksgiving meal to be less of a hassle, turkey legs will just do. You can combine elegance and simplicity. I know Thanksgiving has passed but its never too late for a turkey recipe. This turkey dish serves well with pumpkin pie and cranberry apple crisp along with some roasted potatoes.

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 4 turkey legs rinsed and patted dry
  2. 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
  3. 4 teaspoons of lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  5. 1 teaspoon of paprika
  6. 1/2 teaspoon of  tumeric
  7. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
  10. 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme
  11. 2 large onions quartered
  12. 1 whole garlic


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice,spices,and herbs in a bowl until well combined. Place quartered onions and garlic in a baking dish. Lay turkey legs on top. Coat each turkey leg evenly with the paste. Bake covered for the first 2 and a half hours. Bake uncovered for the remaining 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Yields 4 servings.


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