The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Caveman Pops (aka Roasted Turkey Legs)

5.00 Mitt(s) 3 Rating(s)3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 53 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

Big, meaty roasted turkey legs reminiscent of the ones you’d munch on at your local state fair. A yummy, satisfying “snack!”

Ingredients

  • 10 whole Turkey Legs
  • BRINE:
  • 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

Preparation

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, 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.

Dig in!

3 Comments

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Mark on 8.19.2014

I have a question about the cooking time – is a total of 35 minutes really enough to fully cook these? All other recipes that I’ve found suggest cooking at 350 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Any input is appreciated, thanks!

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cedarglen on 7.22.2014

Whoops! I tried to leave an addendum to my review, but the rule is ONE per person. Whats I wanted to add was: After applying the dry/wet rub, let the legs sit for an hour before smoking, if possible. Also, it is perfectly OK to run this routine through the low-temp smoking step, or the indirect cooking step (to 160F or just under) hold in the fridge and then ;finish on a hot grill a day later. As PW says, “…whatever floats your boat.” This is a wonderful idea, the seasonings and flavors are cook’s choice. Be BOLD and have some fun. It is difficult to screw up this recipe. My guess is that the most common error is under cooking. The low temperature smoking step (in my method) is optional, but the temperature steps are not. When doing the major cooking over indirect heat (or in the oven) get the meat to 160 – 165F before resting. As noted, it is perfectly OK to pause there, chill for a day and resume on service day, warming and cooking up to ~170F, but the legs still need to rest (and cool) a bit before the first bite. Heck yes! This is obviously in PW’s “Man Food” class, but it is also not a 1-2 hour recipe, even if done on an oven. I do not know what PW and her table think about lamb, but improving my lamb cooking is my next target. Good Cooking to all, -CG. (Did I mention using latex gloves… Good idea with meat & poultry, especially when using strong seasonings. Thorough hand washing is still necessary, but the gloves will help to keep the offending pepper powers out of your eyes. Gloves, latex or other material, are not expensive. A tiny fraction of us may be allergic to latex, but that is way over blown. The other types never fit as well because they won’t stretch. If your system can tolerate simple latex, you will be happier. If not, their are other choices…

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susanve on 11.3.2011

Made a chicken leg version of these for Halloween. They were such a hit! Absolutely delish! I am going to try the same brine and spices on my Thanksgiving turkey breast.

3 Reviews

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Avatar of cedarglen

cedarglen on 7.22.2014

What can I say? Outstanding! I’m making my fourth batch of these legs and loving it. The first round was exactly per the recipe. Since then I’ve mixed it up a bit, altering (increasing) the seasoning and the brine time to 24 hours. In place of the oven I now Hickory/Mesquite smoke them for an hour at 200-225F, the grill over indirect heat until the meat is ~160F and finish over direct heat to ~170F. The most difficult part is letting the legs REST for 15 minutes before wrapping the small end and um… chowing down. My own method tips include: After the brine, rinse well and DRY well. As PW notes, loosen the skin a bit and get some seasoning mix UNDER the skin. Let them sit a bit before smoking, use a cooking spray and get more rub on the outside. Her idea or from elsewhere, I don ‘t remember, but put a little oil in the dry rub to make a paste that will stick. As long as the legs are fully cooked and rested a bit, it is nearly impossible to screw this up. Make the oiled (dry) suit your own taste, but starting with PW’s idea of steak rub and some chili powder is a good place to begin. I don’t think it possible to use too much garlic and onion powder; I use chipotle powder, paprika, dill, coriander, black pepper, red pepper flake, etc. Starting with a pre-mixed steak rub is not a bad idea, but boost it a bit with flavors that you like. If I have to say this, using a standard ‘poultry seasoning’ mix is a wimp’s error and limits your results. This is the place to use bold seasonings. Got it? Good luck! -CG

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Rina on 10.1.2012

I use chicken legs rather than turkey and for the seasoning blend I use McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon. Comes out AMAZING! I love this recipe and it’s guaranteed that I will overeat if I make this.

Avatar of susanve

susanve on 11.3.2011

So, so good! A must try! Looks complicated but actually very easy. Modified the recipe and used chicken legs, brined them overnite and watched them dissapear from my halloween snack table!

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