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Tuscan-Style Red Wine Turkey Legs

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit


For the brine:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Acacia honey
  • A handful of rosemary and thyme sprigs
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 6 to 8 turkey legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 leafy top celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved to expose the cloves
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • A handful of thyme
  • 2 large fresh bay leaves
  • 1 bottle red wine, such as Rosso di Montalcino or Chianti
  • 1 quart turkey or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour


Bring brine ingredients to a boil to dissolve salt. Add ice and cool.

Pour into double-bagged 2-gallon plastic baggies, add turkey legs and let the legs brine for 1-2 days.

To cook, heat a large, wide, oven-safe braising pan or large, deep, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, about 3 turns of the pan. Remove turkey legs from brine, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. Add legs to the pan and brown 8-10 minutes on one side then turn and brown 5-6 minutes more; remove to platter.

Add another turn of the pan of olive oil along with the vegetables, juniper and allspice berries, peppercorns and herbs. Season with salt and cook to soften, 8-10 minutes. Add wine to pan and ruduce by 2/3, about 6-7 minutes. Add stock and turkey legs back into pan, keeping top half of turkey exposed. Transfer pan to oven and roast 2 hours uncovered, spooning pan sauce over the legs occasionally.

Remove legs to platter and cover. Strain sauce then place pan over medium-high. Add butter and melt, then whisk in flour. Add strained sauce to pan and cook to thicken gravy.

Serve turkey legs topped with gravy with Brown Butter Polenta alongside.

Rachael Ray