Mrs. Cratchit’s Sage and Onion Roasted Drumsticks

Posted December 11, 2014 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in A Christmas Carol (Dec. 2014) / 4 Comments


The roast goose or turkey is an icon of Victorian Christmas, and it’s clear that Mrs. Cratchit has a deft hand when it comes to its preparation. A full-size bird would have made a great entrée for our menu, but I could hardly justify roasting 10 pounds of turkey for just the Mister and myself. These roasted turkey legs were a nice compromise. I got the preparation technique from The Pioneer Woman, but I used my own blend of spices to match Mrs. Cratchit’s sage and onion goose. The end result was a set of juicy drumsticks with heartwarmingly homey flavor and crispy skin.

P.S. The proportion of the ingredients in your brine and seasoning will be primarily determined by the size of your turkey legs. This goes for cook time as well. The legs I used were very large (1 1/2 lb each), so you may have to adjust your time and materials for smaller legs.

Mrs. Cratchit’s Sage & Onion Drumsticks

“There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavour, size and cheapness, were the themes of universal admiration.”
— A Christmas Carol

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large turkey legs
  • FOR THE BRINE:
    • 1/2 cup kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup brown, 1/4 cup dark brown)
    • 1/2 tbsp ground sage
    • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
    • 1 medium-sized bay leaf
    • 4 cups water
    • a lot of ice
  • FOR THE DRY RUB:
    • 1 tbsp ground sage
    • 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp garlic salt

 

Makes 2-4 servings

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pour all the ingredients for your brine into a large pot. Stir it for a minute or two to give the sugar and salt a chance to start dissolving. Then, bring it to a boil, stirring every once in a while.
  2. As soon as the brine starts boiling, turn off the heat and allow the brine to cool completely. Pour the brine into a large bowl and add the turkey legs, making sure they are completely submerged. Add as much ice as you can without the bowl overflowing. Cover with plastic wrap.

    The amount of ice isn’t crazy important. You just need enough to keep the legs cold. In fact, I ran out of ice and just popped my bowl in the fridge after the ice melted. It still worked great!
  3. Allow the turkey to brine for 4-6 hours. When your turkey legs are just about done brining, preheat your oven to 400° and mix together the ingredients for your dry rub.

    Beware of overbrining, as it can make the turkey very salty.
  4. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse under cold water. Pat the legs dry with a paper towel and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet (you can discard the used brine). Rub the dry rub all over the turkey, including under the skin.

    I skipped the rinsing step, but I also brined for only 4 hours. If you brine the legs for closer to 6 hours, definitely rinse.
  5. The original recipe calls for roasting the turkey legs at 400° for 20 minutes, then turning the oven down to 300° and roasting for another 15 minutes. Since I was roasting larger legs, I cooked them at 400° for 35 minutes and 300° for 25 minutes. Adjust the cook time as you see fit.
  6. In the end, the skin should be crispy and golden brown, and the meat should be tender with clear juices (since this is dark meat, some of the meat will still be pink, even when it’s finished).

    To ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked, check the turkey’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read 165° Fahrenheit.
  7. Serve warm at a Christmas dinner with family. Don’t forget to ask Tiny Tim to say grace!

    My favorite thing about these legs is that, when you reheat them, the skin is still crispy and the meat is still juicy. Of course, there weren’t many leftovers. The Mister ate a whole leg on his own!

 

 

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Here’s the Yummly printable!

Mrs. Cratchit’s Sage and Onion Roasted Drumsticks

Makes 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large turkey legs
  • FOR THE BRINE:
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup brown, 1/4 cup dark brown)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground sage
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 medium-sized bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • a lot of ice
  • FOR THE DRY RUB:
  • 1 tbsp ground sage
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Pour all the ingredients for your brine into a large pot. Stir it for a minute or two to give the sugar and salt a chance to start dissolving. Then, bring it to a boil, stirring every once in a while.
  2. As soon as the brine starts boiling, turn off the heat and allow the brine to cool completely. Pour the brine into a large bowl and add the turkey legs, making sure they are completely submerged. Add as much ice as you can without the bowl overflowing. Cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Allow the turkey to brine for 4-6 hours. When your turkey legs are just about done brining, preheat your oven to 400° and mix together the ingredients for your dry rub.
  4. Remove the turkey legs from the brine and rinse under cold water. Pat the legs dry with a paper towel and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet (you can discard the used brine). Rub the dry rub all over the turkey, including under the skin.
  5. The original recipe calls for roasting the turkey legs at 400° for 20 minutes, then turning the oven down to 300° and roasting for another 15 minutes. Since I was roasting larger legs, I cooked them at 400° for 35 minutes and 300° for 25 minutes. Adjust the cook time as you see fit.
  6. In the end, the skin should be crispy and golden brown, and the meat should be tender with clear juices (since this is dark meat, some of the meat will still be pink, even when it's finished). To ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked, check the turkey's internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read 165° Fahrenheit.
  7. Serve warm at a Christmas dinner with family. Don't forget to ask Tiny Tim to say grace!

Notes

The amount of ice isn't crazy important. You just need enough to keep the legs cold. In fact, I ran out of ice and just popped my bowl in the fridge after the ice melted. It still worked great!

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