2 ratings

Red Wine Roasted Turkey Legs Recipe


Red Wine Roasted Turkey Legs

Kerry Heffernan, Executive Chef at South Gate at the Essex House in New York City, originally braised the turkey legs, but in testing it discovered roasting the meat produced a tastier result, with crispy skin, in little time. When purchasing turkeys, he prefers the moister product D’Artagnan turkeys yield.

Adapted from Kerry Heffernan.


2 turkey legs, deboned and any tough tendons removed, about 2 ½-3 pounds total

12 ounces red wine, preferably a Pinot Noir

4 sprigs parsley, stems removed and minced

4 sprigs marjoram, stems removed and minced

4 sprigs thyme, stems removed and minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ounce rendered bacon fat, or grapeseed oil

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

4 ounces hen of the woods mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (use cremini mushrooms as an alternative)

4 ounces pancetta, diced

8 ounces rich brown turkey stock


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay deboned turkey legs out, skin side down, and season well with salt and pepper. Combine the herbs together with 1/2 of the garlic and sprinkle over top, 

Roll the legs up, encasing the herbs. Using six 12-inch long segments of butchers twine, tie off the roulade at 1-inch intervals. Season the exterior well with salt and pepper.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon fat and sear off the legs, moving the roulade every two minutes or so to evenly brown the skin. Once it is fully seared, place the roulade, flesh side down, in the sauté pan and place in the oven.

Check the meat after 20 minutes. When ready, the juices will run pink. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes (it will continue to cook).

While the turkey is roasting, preheat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and render for 3 minutes, then remove the meat, leaving the fat in the pan. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the mushrooms, season them well, and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden.

Add the pancetta and remaining garlic to the pan, and deglaze with turkey stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, check the seasoning and keep warm.

To serve, remove strings and slice into rounds. Place the rounds attractively on platter and ladle sauce mixture over top.