While cooking a whole bird is traditional, most chefs smartly cook the white and dark meat separately to achieve the best flavor and perfect level of doneness. Brining and smoking the breast and curing and roasting the legs yields the most succulent results.
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
3 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
6 (1- to 1 1/2-lb.) turkey legs
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
How to Make It
Process first 6 ingredients in a food processor 40 to 45 seconds or until finely chopped. Place turkey legs in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish, and rub with salt mixture. Cover and chill 12 to 15 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°. Transfer turkey to a roasting pan, discarding any accumulated liquid. Pour broth over turkey; let stand 30 minutes. Bake 1 hour.
Reduce temperature to 350°. Baste with pan juices, and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes or until meat pulls away from bone, turning legs every 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Note: We tested with Sugar in the Raw turbinado sugar.
I followed this recipe exactly, and it is WAY TOO SALTY! Comparing to other dry brine recipes, 1/4 cup of salt is way too much, even though I poured off the accumulated liquid as instructed. Oh well ... I'm going to be swollen and puffy in the morning from all that salt!
This is the traditional method used for CURING meats. You see they say pour out the liquid once the curing process is done (12 to 15 hours later). One is NOT to use that. If you choose not to use broth in the cooking process, then you could replace that with water. Ever heard of lox? It's cured salmon, uses this same method!
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