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Beer-Braised Turkey Legs

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Hands-on time 1 hr, 20 mins
Total time 15 hrs, 50 mins

Makes 6 servings

These Latin-inspired turkey legs are a welcome change of pace from the traditional holiday roast.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 fresh turkey legs (about 5 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 dried chipotle, pasilla, or ancho chile peppers
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (12-oz.) bottle Mexican beer
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 limes, halved

How to Make It

  1. Stir together first 6 ingredients. Rub salt mixture over turkey legs. Place turkey legs in a single layer on a rack in a jelly-roll pan; chill, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Let turkey stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Cook 3 turkey legs in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 10 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove turkey legs from Dutch oven. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; cook remaining turkey legs 10 minutes, browning on all sides.

  3. Sauté carrots and onion in drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high heat 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in dried peppers and cinnamon, and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and beer; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Nestle turkey legs in Dutch oven. Place a piece of parchment paper directly on turkey, and cover Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid.

  4. Bake at 350° for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat pulls away from bone. Let turkey stand in Dutch oven, covered with parchment and lid, at room temperature 30 minutes. Discard parchment paper.

  5. Preheat broiler with oven rack 7 inches from heat. Carefully remove turkey from Dutch oven, reserving cooking liquid, vegetables, and cinnamon stick in Dutch oven. Place turkey legs on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan.

  6. Broil turkey 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crisp and golden brown. Carefully transfer turkey to a serving platter; cover with aluminum foil. Skim fat from cooking liquid in Dutch oven, and pour cooking liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan; discard solids. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until sauce reduces slightly. Remove from heat. Add butter, and whisk until butter is melted and sauce is smooth. Squeeze juice from limes over turkey, and serve turkey with sauce.

  7. Note: We tested with Swanson Natural Goodness 33% Less Sodium Chicken Broth and Dos Equis beer.