Turkey legs are much cheaper than whole turkeys and ‘white meat’ joints like turkey crowns and breast joints – making them a great option if you are watching the pennies. The best way to cook your turkey leg is to slow roast it – this will give you a much better flavour and texture. (Plus this easy peasy Slow Roast Turkey Leg recipe creates the most amazing turkey gravy!)
This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!
Turkey leg – a great budget-friendly option
Turkey leg joints (AKA turkey drumsticks) are a really great option if you are on a budget this Christmas. Whole turkeys and ‘white meat’ joints like turkey crowns and turkey breast joints are usually quite pricey – especially at Christmas time. In fact the turkey is usually the most expensive part of a Christmas spread – by quite some way. Turkey legs, however, are much cheaper than whole turkeys and also usually cheaper than turkey crowns and breast joints – making them a great option if you are watching the pennies.
How to slow roast a turkey leg joint
The best way to cook your turkey leg is to slow roast it – this will give you a much better flavour and texture than a ‘fast roast’. And it’s so easy to do!
All you need to do is place your turkey leg on top of a ‘trivet’ of vegetables, cover with foil and roast at 160C for 2 hours. Then, after the 2 hours, remove the foil and turn the heat up to 220C. Roast for a further 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. Finally remove the turkey leg from the oven and rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the gravy.
(Full recipe given in the recipe card below.)
The most amazing turkey gravy!
This Slow Roast Turkey Leg recipe produces the most amazing turkey gravy, thanks to all the meat juices, the stock, the herbs and the vegetable ‘trivet’ that the turkey leg sits on as it roasts.
To make this amazing turkey gravy, all you need to do is place a sieve over a medium-sized saucepan and tip the vegetables and liquid from the roasting tin into the sieve. Using a large spoon, press down on the vegetables to get all the liquid out of them and into the saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of cornflour (mixed with cold water to make a thin paste) and stir to combine with the strained roasting liquid. Finally, heat the gravy until bubbling, stirring frequently to ensure a smooth consistency.
(Full recipe given in the recipe card below.)
What to serve with Slow Roast Turkey Leg
This Slow Roast Turkey Leg is delicious served as part of a traditional Christmas spread with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots, sprouts, stuffing balls, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and, of course, the Amazing Turkey Gravy!
What to drink with Slow Roast Turkey Leg
Turkey is a very wine-friendly meat and goes surprisingly well with both red and white wines.
As turkey leg is ‘brown meat’, I would tend to err more towards red wine. Good options here would be Côtes du Rhône, Spanish Garnacha or Chilean Merlot. (All usually relatively inexpensive options.)
If you prefer white wine then an oaked Chardonnay is always a good partner to turkey. Go for a bold, gutsy one from somewhere like Chile or Australia.
What to do with leftover turkey leg meat
Got leftover turkey leg? Don’t let it go to waste! There are lots of great ways to use up leftover turkey leg meat:
- Easy Leftover Turkey Curry
- Creamy Leftover Turkey Pasta
- Leftover Turkey Paella
- Easy Leftover Turkey and Vegetable Pie
- Leftover Turkey Macaroni Cheese
Need more ideas? Check out all my leftover turkey recipes here.
How long can you keep leftover turkey leg in the fridge?
Turkey leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. However, it is really important you get the leftovers into the fridge within 2 hours of being cooked to avoid food poisoning.
If you choose to reheat leftovers, ensure you do this until they are piping hot!
Can you freeze leftover turkey leg?
Absolutely! Turkey leftovers can be frozen very successfully. Having a stash of leftover turkey in your fridge ensures cheap, healthy and delicious meals throughout January.
To freeze turkey leftovers, divide up the meat into meal sized portions and put into freezer proof boxes and freeze.
It’s really important you get your turkey leftovers into the fridge or freezer within 2 hours of being cooked to avoid food poisoning.
If you’ve got them into the fridge straight away, but plan on freezing your leftovers, make sure you transfer the leftovers from the fridge to the freezer ASAP – certainly within a day or so of refrigerating them.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Slow Roast Turkey Leg (+ Amazing Turkey Gravy!)
- 2 large onions peeled and each one cut into 8 wedges
- 2 large carrots chopped into large chunks (no need to peel)
- 1 stick of celery chopped into large chunks
- 1 garlic bulb halved horizontally
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 300 ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine – See Note 1)
- 1 kg turkey leg (AKA turkey drumstick) (See Note 2)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste (See Note 3)
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (US – cornstarch)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Preheat your oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas mark3 / 325F.
- Place the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a roasting tin (Approx 30 cm x 25cm – like THIS ONE).
- Add the bay leaves and chicken stock to the roasting tin.
- Remove the turkey leg from the packaging and gently pat dry with kitchen roll. Drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Use your hands to spread this all over the turkey leg.
- Place the turkey leg on top of the vegetables in the roasting tin and cover the whole thing completely with tin foil. (You may have to use 2 sheets sideways, unless you have very wide tin foil.)
- Place the roasting tin in your preheated oven and roast for 2 hours.
- After the 2 hours, turn the heat up to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F. Then take the roasting tin out of the oven and remove the foil.
- Return the roasting tin to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes to crisp up the skin. (Make sure the liquid does not completely dry out - See Note 4.)
- After the 30 minutes take the roasting tin out of the oven and place the turkey on a board or plate to rest for 10-15 minutes while you make the gravy. (See Note 5.)
- To make the gravy, place a sieve over a medium-sized saucepan and tip the vegetables and liquid from the roasting tin into the sieve. Using a large spoon, press down on the vegetables to get all the liquid out of them and into the saucepan. (See Note 6.) Remove the sieve from the pan.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cold water to make a thin paste (it should be roughly the consistency of single cream – add more cold water if necessary to achieve this consistency.)
- Pour the cornflour mixture into the saucepan and stir to combine with the strained roasting liquid.
- Gently heat the gravy until bubbling, stirring frequently to ensure a smooth consistency. If too thick for your tastes, thin out with some boiling water from the kettle. (If too thin, add another tablespoon of cornflour, mixed first with cold water as above.)
- Tip into a gravy boat or jug and serve with your turkey leg.
- You can also use turkey stock if you prefer.
- A 1kg turkey leg joint will typically serve 3-4 people, depending on appetite and accompaniments. If you are catering for more people or for people with larger appetites, simply roast 2 turkey leg joints on the same bed of vegetables. (Ensure the 2 turkey legs are not touching for best results.)
- I recommend being quite sparing with the salt as too much will make the gravy too salty – I use just a tiny pinch.
- If you wrap with foil well, you shouldn’t need to add any more liquid… but if your foil was a bit loose you may find most of the liquid has evaporated – in which case add a splash more (But not too much or your gravy will be too thin and not as flavoursome!)
- If you are worried your turkey leg will get cold, you can wrap it in tin foil and cover it with a couple of teatowels – the problem with this is that the skin will no longer be crispy. If your kitchen is quite warm, the turkey should not cool down too much during its 10-15 minutes resting time, so I generally leave it uncovered so the skin stays crispy!
- You have two options here… you can either press lightly, so the vegetables stay whole and then tip the veggies into a serving dish to serve up alongside the turkey OR you can press really hard so that the veggies turn into mush. This second option will give you a better tasting gravy – you can then use the ‘mush’ as the basis for a lovely soup the next day – just pop it into an airtight container in the fridge.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Pin Slow Roast Turkey Leg for later
FREE 4 Week Easy Dinners Meal Plan
Have you got your hands on a copy of my meal plan yet? If not CLICK HERE to download a copy of my FREE 4 Week Easy Dinners Meal Plan today!
Don’t want to miss a thing?
*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!