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Friendsgiving Apple Cider Braised Turkey Legs

Friendsgiving will never be the same! These Apple Cider Braised Turkey Legs from The Whole Smiths are insane. Check it out along with a full Friendsgiving menu!
Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: The Whole Smiths


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup salt sea or kosher
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 turkey legs / drumsticks
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick butter or ghee at room temperature
  • 6 loved garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme


  • In a large bowl combine the apple cider, water, salt, bay leaf, peppercorns, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, and onion powder. Stir until the salt is dissolved.
  • Add the turkey legs to the bowl and submerge into the brine. If some of the turkey is poking out of the brine, that's ok, rotate the legs every hour for even brining. Brine the turkey legs for 3-6 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 450* F.
  • Once the turkey has brined, pull the legs out of the brine and pat dry.
  • In a small bowl, combine the butter or ghee with the rosemary, thyme and garlic to create an herby butter spread. Divide the butter evenly amongst the 6 legs. Carefully lift the skin of the turkey from the leg and bread the butter under the skin onto the meat as well as over the skin.
  • Salt the skin of the turkey legs with the 3 teaspoons of salt.
  • Place the turkey legs on a roasting rack and cook at 450* for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drop the temp to 400 and cook until you have an internal temp of 165*, about 35 minutes.