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posted: 10/9/2013 6:05 AM

Apple Cider-Brined Turkey Legs

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  • Lori Wiktorek's game day spread includes grilled pizza, topped with thinly sliced beets and prosciutto, beet slaw and havarti-topped Spam sliders and apple cider-brined turkey legs.

       Lori Wiktorek's game day spread includes grilled pizza, topped with thinly sliced beets and prosciutto, beet slaw and havarti-topped Spam sliders and apple cider-brined turkey legs.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 

3 quarts hot water

cup kosher salt

cup sugar

3 cups unfiltered apple cider

teaspoon Weber Kick'N Chicken seasoning mix (or similar poultry seasoning)

teaspoon whole peppercorns

1 large bay leaf

4 large turkey legs

Dry rub

1 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon rosemary

Oil for grilling

Make ahead: Mix all the brine ingredients (except turkey legs) in a large plastic container stirring well until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Add turkey legs making sure the legs are totally submersed in the liquid (if not, add ice or cold water until submersed). Refrigerate covered, 8-12 hours. Day of game at home: Drain liquid from the turkey legs; rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the legs in a plastic bag or other plastic container and put in cooler with ice.

Mix the dry rub ingredients below and put in a resealable plastic bag or small container to take with to the game.

At the game: Heat grill on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Rub legs with dry rub, getting some under the skin and on the ends. Brush legs lightly with oil and place on hot grill. Grill 2 to 3 minutes each side, turning until browned. Reduce heat to low-medium. Remove each leg from the grill and place each leg on large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (about 16-20 inches). Wrap each leg individually in foil by folding up each side, folding over the seam two or three times and then pressing the foil around the turkey leg so that the seam is only on one side (to reduce leaking). Return legs to the grill, and continue cooking, turning occasionally (about 1 hours).

Remove legs to a plate; remove foil and check temperature of the legs with a meat thermometer -- should read 160 degrees or higher). Return legs to the grill to dry out skin and finish cooking an additional 15-20 minutes or internal temperature reaches 180 degrees needed for poultry). When done, remove from the grill and wrap end of the legs in a small piece of aluminum foil folded over a few times for easier holding/eating.

Serves four to eight

Lori Wiktorek

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