Roasted turkey legs are perfect anytime, and also for small Thanksgiving gatherings. Roasting at a high temperature ensures crispy skin and juicy meat.
Roasted turkey legs are so tasty and satisfying! I serve them often for dinner. I also like to serve them for Thanksgiving instead of roasting a whole bird.
Not everyone wants or needs to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. Perhaps you plan on a small Thanksgiving gathering. Or maybe your family members have a strong preference for either white or dark meat.
Either way, roasting just a couple of turkey breasts, or a few turkey legs, has some clear advantages. Such as a shorter roasting time and a better tasting bird. Roasting just parts of the bird means avoiding the issue of white meat that becomes too dry by the time the dark meat is fully cooked.
I realize that many recipes will tell you to roast turkey legs for an hour and a half at 350 degrees F. But as always when roasting poultry, I find that roasting turkey legs for a relatively short time at a high temperature yields the best results! Crispy, well-browned skin and juicy, succulent meat.
Roasted Turkey Legs
- Olive oil spray
- 4 bone-in skin-on medium turkey drumsticks (about 10oz each)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Fit a roasting pan with a roasting rack and spray the rack with olive oil spray.
- Pat the turkey drumsticks dry with paper towels. Brush the turkey drumsticks all over with melted butter and rub with the seasoning mix. Place on the roasting rack.
- Roast uncovered for 20 minutes, until the skin is well browned. Loosely cover with foil, to avoid scorching the top, and continue roasting until juices run clear when pierced with a fork and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F (make sure it isn’t touching the bone), about 30 more minutes.
- Remove the roasted turkey legs from the oven and allow to rest, still covered in foil, for 10 minutes before serving. Do not skip this step - it allows the internal temperature to climb a bit more, and the juices to redistribute and settle.