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Stuffed Turkey Leg 🦃 🍗

One of the best dishes for the festival season and family gathering to have with a lots of roasted and boil vegetables with piping hot gravy. It’s a rich dish that you want to make when you have a special event in your home. I’m going to show you how to debone Turkey leg as well without cutting the skin, and how to make an amazing gravy and nutty and fruity stuffing to fill the Turkey leg and also so fragrant and aromatic Butter paste. Fallow the recipe and you will get it all in one go. Enjoy!

Cooking and preparation time 2 and half hours

Serves 3 to 4


Main Ingredients 2 kg and 300 gr Turkey leg after deboned became 2 kg.

Ingredients for the marinate Paste 5 tbsp of Butter without Salt 1/2 tsp of dried Rosemary 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper Powder 2 Bay leaves 3 Garlic Cloves 1/2 tsp of fresh Ginger 2 tbsp of fresh Orange Juice 1 tbsp of Lemon zest 1 tsp of sweet Paprika 1 tsp of Salt 2 tbsp of Olive Oil 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper

Ingredients to cook Stuffing/Filling

400 gr minced Beef 70 gr of chopped Dried Nuts 6 chopped Apricots 2 minced Shallots 2 Cloves of minced Garlic 1 Bay Leaf 1 and 1/2 tbsp of Olive Oil 2 tbsp of finely chopped Parsley ½ tsp of dried Sage 2 pinch of Nutmeg Powder Pinch of Cayenne pepper Powder 1/2 tsp of Paprika Salt and Black Pepper to your taste

To put Filling/Stuffing 2 spicy Sausages 4 Skewers 4 tooth picks Cooked Filling

Ingredients to put in the Baking tray with Turkey

3 big side of Onions chopped in big Wedges

3 cloves of whole Garlic with skin

2 tbsp of Olive Oil

200 ml White Wine

Left over Butter paste

5 Slices of Dried Ham to put on the Turkey leg

Ingredients for Sauce/Gravy

To make Turkey Sauce Chopped Roasted Onion cooked with Turkey Chopped Roasted Bacon cooked with Turkey 1 Bay Leaf A few stems of Parsley 1/2 tsp of Dried Thyme 1/2 tsp of Dried Rosemary 3 chopped medium size of Tomatoes Pinch of Sat and Black Pepper to your taste A few drops of Lemon Juice.

How to make it

The ingredients above how I use for my step by step recipe.

First Clean the Turkey leg by removing the feathers, blood and impurities from the skin very well then rinse it with cold water then let it dry the water from it, you can place it on a strainer or rack to dry.

Meanwhile make the marinate Paste.

Prepare all ingredients for the marinate paste. Then In the large bowl add 5 tbsp of butter, into it add 1t sp of Paprika, ½ tsp Cayenne pepper, ½ tsp of dried Rosemary, 1 tsp of Salt, 1 tsp of fresh ginger, grate and add, then 2 bay Leafs, and 3 cloves of Garlic grate and add, 1 tbsp of lemon zest, 2 tbsp of fresh Orange juice, 2 tbsp of Olive oil to make it moisture and half tsp of black pepper. Mix them together very well, until it becomes like a paste set aside to use later. You can use this paste for turkeys or chicken and other roast dishes, it is enough for 3 to 4 kg Turkey.

By now turkey leg is dry so let’s start deboning it.

The simple trick to debone is to hold the main bone you see by one hand and with a little sharp knife start separating the meat out from the bone slowly with other hand, just cut the meat around the bone. Do not make any cut outside on the skin. Most of the time use knife downside up which helps to control better and you can see where you are cutting. Make small cuts from bottom to up each time. But be careful with the knife to not cut yourself. If you’re afraid to cut, ask your butcher to do it for you, or just cut the one side all the way and remove the bone out. Take out only the bone from inside without making any cut on the skin. Later on you can see the bone seems clean. Do not debone all the way to the leg keep 1 and half inch bone as it is to hold our filling properly. After deboned chop bone with a big knife and remove from it.

Next clean everything that you used here as well as your hands. Then place the meat on the flat tray and marinate with the paste that we just made. Put it all over on the meat then spread everywhere even inside cavity, after you done it, cover it and let it rest for at least an hour to absorb all spices in the meat or overnight in the fridge is better. The left over paste keep to use for later.

Now prepare the filling, the ingredients we need to make stuffing prepare accordingly above.

Turn the gas on in medium then into the pan add 1 and half tbsp of Olive oil before the pan gets very hot. When the oil start to get hotter add minced 2 cloves of garlic and 1 bay leaf. Fry it and Let it infuse until we can see a slightly golden brown in Colour. Next two minced shallots, put in and fry it until it becomes translusive and slightly golden. Then add Minced meat and cook it without the lid on to evaporate the water from it and separate the minced meat evenly with spatula. It takes around 4 to 5minute, then before all water dries, add ½ tsp of Paprika and a few pinch of Cayenne powder, mix well to combine. Again ½ tsp of dried sage it goes very well with beef, you can use fresh if you have it. Mix well again. Almost all water dries lets add chopped dried nuts – I use some pistachio, chest nuts, almonds, walnuts, Golden and brown sultanas and 6 chopped apricot, it makes it crispy and sweet and it enhances the flavour to another label. Mix then very well and let it cook for around 2 minutes then add 2 pinch of nutmeg powder and salt to your taste. Mix very well to combine. Now all water dried and we are almost done, add 2 tbsp of finely chopped parsley, mix it well to infuse aroma around a minute. Now stuffing is done. Remove from the gas and let it cool down a bit.

Now go ahead and turn Oven in 230c or 450f to make it really hot.

Next the marinated leg, on a clean chopping board place the turkey leg to stuff it. Here use cooked minced meat with dried nuts, Portuguese spicy sausage called Linguica in Portugal, use 2 and enough skewer and tooth picks, you can use kitchen rope for it instead if you find out difficult with Skewer. First put meat inside the cavity, and squeeze it just put half, then all over and spared it. Place the linguica inside cavity to out then in the centre add more meat stuff in the cavity to cover the linguica. Pull up one side up the meat and another side as well then bring both side in the middle, then with one skewer, skew the edge to hold then start skew from another side. Pull both together and join both with a skewer. Don’t skew just throw the skin, skew through the edge of the meat then it doesn’t open when we roast. If you find it harder use kitchen Rope.

At the end put everything inside then skew the last part, use toothpicks to close properly in the end if need it. After done it. Keep aside and prepare a baking tray

Ingredients to baking.

Into a baking tray, put 3 big size of onion wedges, place randomly and 3 cloves of whole Garlic for the gravy and to protect from burns as well as to give flavour to the meat. Then place the stuffed turkey leg on it. Now spread that left over Butter paste on the upper part of the skin evenly. Add 200ml of white wine into the tray and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil. Now bring it to the preheated oven 30 minutes or until the upper part of turkey starts to get brownish.

After 30 minutes it smells so good, it looks brownish as well. Now take it out then place the 5 slices of dried ham, in Portugal called presunto on the skin to meat to not get dry. You can use Bacon instead. Bring it into the Oven, reduce the temperature to 180c or 250f and cook it for 1 hour for this 2 kg leg. As oven temperatures and turkey leg shapes and sizes cooking time going to be vary. So check it 20 minutes before finishing cooking. Insert a skewer inside thick part of the leg if juice is running clear then the meat is cook. If juice runs out pink then cook 10, 15 minutes or more.

After an hour take it out from the oven. Transfer into another tray and make gravy from the sauce. Remove the onion and garlic to chop and transfer try with the sauce to the gas. If you don’t want to cook in the same tray then transfer the sauce to a pan or pot.

Turn on the gas in medium high heat then let it cook. While it is cooking return to the cooked leg then remove the crispy ham then let meat to rest at least 30 minutes. Now go ahead and mince all those roasted onions, Roasted dried ham and dice 3 medium size of tomatoes. Next get back to the sauce. These are the Ingredients for the sauce. Into a boiling sauce add minced roasted onions for sweet flavour, 1bay leaf, minced roasted dried ham, a few stems of Salsa and mix well to combine and again add ½ tsp of dried thyme and ½ tsp of dried Rosemary, mix again and add diced tomatoes mix well to combine with hot sauce and let it cook. Get back to the meat and take or chop the part we don’t eat like if you are cooking whole turkey then wings and legs. Here chop bone part of the leg then add into the sauce it makes the sauce richer. Mix well to combine.

Let it cook until the tomatoes cubes are dissolved like this then season it with a pinch of salt and black pepper as well and a few drops of lemon juice for the citric flavour. Taste again if everything fine. Next make ready the strainer and bowl then strain the gravy, make sure to squish with a ladle to make all juice drop to the bowl then transfer to a serving jar.

Now our Turkey already rest for 30 minutes lets slice it, slice it 1 inch wide or slightly more to our stuffing to stay stick and to make look beautiful. Place it into a serving plate. Then serve.

I’m serving with Roasted sweet potatoes and Russet Potatoes, Stir boiled Brussels sprouts with Portuguese sausages, Boiled Carrots and Broccoli and finally a very Christmassy sauce Caramelized strawberry with apple sauce.

I hope you enjoy this warm and delicious dish, enjoy!

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