Ginger Citrus Spiced Turkey Legs

Turkey & citrus season is upon us! It’s not a Malaysian tradition to have turkey as the year-end approaches but I think it should be. Something rich, warm, spicy to close the year with isn’t so bad a thing at all. We already have so many local food traditions here so what’s another one?

I really like turkey. It’s like the lamb or venison of the poultry world. A slightly more upscale flavour — richer, redder, heftier. I mean, turkey IS a big bird! I don’t fancy cooking the entire bird simply because my oven isn’t big enough (though, we just got ourselves a proper built-in one and I can’t wait to play with it!!) and I don’t have a village to feed. Turkey legs are perfectly portioned for the 2 of us. 2 legs can feed us for 2 meals pretty well!

I’ve made turkey legs before and this is not too different from my previous recipes. I consider this my revision because I think I make turkey once a year. 😀

Brining is a given when it comes to turkey roasting if you want proper flavour infusion. 
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Looks like too much but I’m gonna guess 90% of that remains in the brine that we’ll pour out so don’t freak out, k? 😉
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All the aromatic infusions. I’ll be honest. I chose those 3 citruses for this very picture. I love the colours!
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Also, don’t be stubborn like me. Use a larger container. Haha! I did give in and change to a larger one. By the way, cardamom goes really well with turkey!
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A nice spice blend of garam masala, ground coriander & chilli to seal in the flavours!
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I used the citrus slices to prop up the drumsticks a bit so the bottom doesn’t burn onto my pan. Looks super festive!
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After some roasting time, they came out nice and brown.
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I let the legs rest for a bit while roasting off some broccoli. The juices came out a little creating a really nice glaze. Totally unexpected but very welcomed.
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I could just grab one leg and gnaw on it. But I am a lady. Heh.
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The flavours of those spices with the citruses melded together really well, almost giving this a sorta Middle Eastern/African/Indian spice vibe. Bright yet deep… with floral notes from the cardamom. 
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Look at the juice running out!
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You can now be sure never to have dry, sand papery turkey on your table ever again.
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I had the leftover with a little Pesto linguine the next day and oh, it was sublime. Probably even better!
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How do you season your turkey? Let me know because I would love to try it out for our little year end party for 2. 🙂

Want more turkey leg ideas?

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Spice Rub Roast Turkey Legs

Orange Rosemary Turkey Legs 2

Orange Rosemary Turkey Legs






“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them His covenant.” {Psalm 25:14}

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Ginger Citrus Spiced Turkey Legs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 2 Turkey Legs (appx 900gms or 1 lb 2 oz)
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Salt
  • 2 cloves Garlic, smashed & peeled
  • 1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 6-7 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 tbsp Cloves
  • 1 Lemon, sliced
  • 1 Lime, sliced
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • 7-8 slices Old Ginger
  • 4 cups Water (or enough to submerge turkey legs fully)
  • 2 tsp ground Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp ground Chili
  1. Prepare the brine by dissolving salt & sugar in 1 cup water.
  2. Place turkey legs in a non-reactive container with a lid, ensuring that it fits the legs as well as brine.
  3. Pour in solution, garlic cloves, peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, sliced lemon, sliced lime, sliced orange, ginger & rest of the water.
  4. Cover & leave in the fridge to brine for at least 8 hours, up to 12 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 360F or 180C.
  6. Mix ground cumin, ground coriander & chili powder in a small bowl.
  7. Line roasting pan with slices of lemon, lime & orange.
  8. Pat dry turkey legs and rub with spice mix. Place on top of citrus slices. Top with more slices & some brining spices.
  9. Leave for 10 minutes to bring it closer to room temperature.
  10. Roast for 45 mins - 1 hour or until juices run clear when meat is pricked. If you're the precise kind of person, cook until internal temperature reaches 180F or 82C.
  11. Remove from oven & cover loosely with foil to rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Serve with roasted vegetables!


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