How to Make a Test Run Turkey for Thanksgiving

The Starving Chef Blog
How to Make a Test Run Turkey for Thanksgiving

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Under pressure to prepare the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving? You've been Googling recipes all day and can't decide which one to use. Now, I realize most people, unlike myself, do not start thinking about Thanksgiving more than a week or so in advance; whereas there's me, who started making T-day stuff before Halloween...

The good news is, if you happen to have a few extra days, why not do a test run by roasting some turkey legs in different marinades and pick which one you like the most? In this recipe, I'm testing a chipotle honey marinade, but definitely feel free to test out any combination of spices in your kitchen.

If you want to properly practice turkey prep in full, brine the legs overnight, but if you are just looking to get a quick idea, start by whisking together your marinade and letting the legs soak for about 30 minutes. For my marinade I used chipotle pepper powder, garlic powder, honey, olive oil, and parsley.

Next, I arranged my turkey legs on a bed of super simple bread stuffing, to simulate the whole turkey day dinner in one pan. Then just roast the legs for 40 minutes covered and then for another 20-30 minutes, uncovered, or until the skin has puffed up and is beginning to brown. The internal temperature should be 165 F when they are ready to eat. Finally, I drizzled a little extra honey over the legs and served them alongside some butternut squash soup and on a bed of homemade stuffing.


Tags: Thanksgiving , Turkey

The Starving Chef Blog

How to Make a Test Run Turkey for Thanksgiving

Prep Time: 5 minutes + 30 minutes marinating time

Cook Time: ~ 1 hour

Makes 3 turkey legs


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  • 3 large turkey legs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

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  1. In a small bowl whisk together the honey, chipotle powder, garlic powder, and parsley flakes. Pour the mix over the turkey legs and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Arrange the turkey legs in a roasting pan, on a bed of stuffing, and roast covered, for 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and roast for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until skin is browning and the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 F. Serve and be thankful!

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Need some simple sides for Thanksgiving?

This apple and leek stuffing might just meet your needs.

And you should totally try this roasted butternut squash soup too!