This preparation isolates this much-loved cut in a recipe for a perfectly cooked bird with a crackling bronze skin.

By Mary-Frances Heck
Updated October 08, 2018
Turkey Leg Roulade
Credit: Victor Protasio

For lovers of dark meat—the most flavorful part of the bird—a turkey leg roulade offers an elegant alternative to the whole bird for the holiday. Deboned turkey legs are wrapped around a leek-and-currant stuffing, tied, poached in white wine, and then roasted—a method that yields perfectly cooked, juicy meat and crackling bronze skin in a fraction of the time. The best part? The process can be started several days in advance, needing only a quick blast in a hot oven on T-day to crisp the skin before serving.


Place one turkey leg, skin side down, on a cutting board.

Cut White Membrane
Credit: Victor Protasio

(a) Using a sharp, thin knife, cut along the white membrane that runs lengthwise down the thigh and leg until the blade hits bone.

Cut Along Bone
Credit: Victor Protasio

(b) Continue cutting along and around the thigh and drumstick bones until the bones are fully exposed.

Slide Knife Under the Bone
Credit: Victor Protasio

(c)Slip knife under thigh bone and separate from meat. Repeat with drumstick bone. Taking care not to pierce the meat and skin around the joint, use the tip of knife to trace around joint until it is free. Remove bone; reserve for another use. Repeat procedure with remaining leg.



Place one leg, skin side down, with a short end closest to you. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread half of leeks in an even layer over meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Repeat procedure with remaining leg, salt, pepper, and leeks.

Roll it Up
Credit: Victor Protasio


Working with one leg at a time, roll turkey leg by tucking the skin side into the stuffing to form a long cylinder. Arrange, seam side down, on work surface. Repeat procedure with remaining leg.

Tie with Twine
Credit: Victor Protasio


Secure legs with butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals, tying tightly to secure. Stuffed turkey legs may be wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Poach and Rest
Credit: Victor Protasio


Bring broth and wine to a simmer in a large Dutch oven, and season lightly with salt. Carefully place legs in broth. Add more broth if necessary to cover. Reduce heat to low to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cover and cook until a thermometer inserted in legs registers 165°F, about 1 hour. Carefully transfer legs to a large rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let meat rest for 15 minutes. Strain cooking liquid; discard solids. Reserve strained cooking liquid for gravy. If serving turkey later, let cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Credit: Victor Protasio


Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast turkey until skin is crisp, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch rounds.