Yes,that is a reference to Sir Mix A Lot’s song, “Baby Got Back”…lol (If you have no idea what I am talking about click here.)
There’s nothing like a big ole roasted juicy Turkey leg. I became slightly fascinated with them last year when I went with my brother and his family to the Pennsylvania renaissance fair last year. The mouthwatering smell of roasted turkey legs filled the air. Everywhere I turned, people were walking around with a drumstick in hand. And the lines to get one were even more ridiculous. I ended up missing my chance then and decided that I would make them myself.
I was inspired when I found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s website for “Caveman Pops” aka roasted Turkey Legs. The recipe was very straightforward and allowed a lot of creativity with the seasonings used. Four to six hours before (in my case a whole day before), you must “brine” the turkey legs. Brine-ing is a cooking process where you marinate meat (in the refrigerator) in a liquid that is about three parts salt and 1 part sugar(in addition to your seasoning of choice) that has been boiled and then cooled. You can read more about how to do this here.
I used garlic as my seasoning for my brine. A day later,made a garlic, red and chili pepper, paprika, onion, and adobo seasoning rub, rubbed it all over the legs and then roasted the turkey legs. The brine-ing makes all of the difference! These legs were flavorful and juicy! This was my result:
I could only eat a half of one–so much meat! I ended up making a large tossed salad to go along with the turkey. Yum! I followed the Pioneer Women’s recipe to a tee. I just made my own seasoning mix up (you can too based on your favorite spices) and I cooked the turkey legs about 30 minutes more than she recommended. I think she must have one of those restaurant quality stoves. I definitely don’t have that in my rented abode, so the oven needed a little longer before the turkey was at the required temperature of 180F
Here’s the recipe and you click here to see it on her website.
Caveman Pops (aka Roasted Turkey Legs)
|Prep Time 6 Hours
Cook Time 30 Minutes
|Servings 10||Difficulty Easy|
- 10 whole Turkey Legs
- 4 quarts Water
- 1 cup Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Seasoning Blend (I Used Montreal)
- 1 whole Bay Leaf
- Dry Rub
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (less If You Don’t Like Things Too Spicy!)
- 2 teaspoons Seasoning Blend (I Used Montreal)
- 2 teaspoons Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Onion Salt
In a pot, combine water with the salt, sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons seasoning blend, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool, then pour into a large container or bowl filled with ice. When mixture is cold, submerge turkey in the brine. Cover the container and brine in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, more if you have time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry rub ingredients. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry. Rub the dry rub all over the turkey legs, getting under the skin when you can.
Roast on a baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 and roast for another 15 minutes(I cooked them at 350 and roasted for another 45 minutes–15 minutes will not be long enough unless you have a restaurant grade oven), or until turkey is cooked through. (Update: larger legs will require longer cooking time.)
Remove them from oven and wrap the bottom of the legs with aluminum foil for serving.