Lemongrass Braised Turkey Legs Recipe

Posted November 13, 2014 by Stephanie
lemongrass braised turkey leg recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

I LOVE any holiday that revolves around eating, so it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is a pretty exciting day (okay, week) around these parts. While I love getting together with family and sitting at a giant table laden with food, sometimes I want to celebrate with just me and Mike. So, this year (Thanksgiving is a bit earlier in Canada), I decided to make us a tiny Thanksgiving for two. We still went to multiple turkey dinners with family and friends, so I basically got the best of all worlds. Although, I’m not so sure my pants agree. Four turkey dinners does seem like a bit much, no?

lemongrass braised turkey leg recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

If you’re planning a small Thanksgiving for two, consider turkey legs. There was no way I was going to make a whole turkey for just the two of us so I went with a leg. They’re much harder to overcook compared to turkey breast and they’re also way more flavourful. Turkey legs are perfect for braising – give them a little time and they’re moist, tender, and fall-off-the-bone delicious.

lemongrass braised turkey leg recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Essentially this recipe is mostly hands off. Just prep a couple of vegetables, brown up your leg, then pop it in the oven for a couple of hours. That gives you time to work on your sides (I’m posting up some sides in the coming week and a bit) or snuggle up on the couch for a couple of shows on Netflix.

The end result is absolutely addictive – crisp, burnished brown skin, light lemongrass flavour, juicy meat. Top it all off with gravy made from the braising liquid and you’ve definitely have something to be thankful for!

lemongrass braised turkey leg recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Lemongrass Braised Turkey Legs Recipe
serves 2


  • 1 bone-in turkey leg (thigh and drumstick)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup minced lemongrass
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock


  • 1 cup stock from braised lemongrass legs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, if needed

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Pat the leg dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven proof heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Brown the leg on both sides, flipping once, 15-20 minutes, until a deep golden color. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add the onions, shallots, garlic, and minced lemongrass to the pot and cook until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add the bruised lemongrass stalk, the browned turkey, and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat so the stock is barely simmering. The leg should rest on the vegetables so that the skin is exposed, but the majority of the meat is submerged.

Transfer to the oven and cook, covered, until the leg is fall apart tender and the sauce has reduced. The skin should be a deep brown, about 2 hours. Take the pot out of the oven and carefully transfer the turkey leg to a plate. Enjoy hot with lemongrass gravy.

Make the gravy: Strain the cooking liquid from the lemongrass turkey through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or a large liquid measuring cup. Skim the excess fat from the surface of the stock.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden brown and incorporated, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the stock from your cooked legs. Turn up the heat and bring to a gentle boil and thicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

lemongrass braised turkey leg recipe - www.iamafoodblog.com

Don’t forget to come back for the sides! Coming up, I’ve got: honey garlic roasted sprouts, lemongrass stuffing, and miso mashed potatoes.

It’s an I am a Food Blog Thanksgiving! I made a tiny Thanksgiving for two featuring some Asian flavors.


  1. Ellie says:

    Seeing recipes like this, I feel almost betrayed I don’t get to celebrate thanksgiving myself!

  2. MMMMMMMMMM! Totally drooling over here! I have to try this recipe!

  3. I love this! I’ve been wondering what to do with just my husband and I this year!

  4. I love this Thanksgiving-for-two recipe and the Asian touch! Can’t wait for the sides.

  5. girl, your food writing makes me so hungry. I’m not a leg person — I prefer turkey breast — but your description makes me think that this crispy juicy combo is exactly what I should be getting addicted to.

  6. steph! FOUR THANKSGIVINGS!!! you popular lady! um, that is a super smart idea to just do turkey leg. i have yet to make the turkey dinner (vegetarian husband, plus my mom still makes it) but i love the idea of the mini thanksgiving! i guess just teddy and me will eat the turkey … this INDEED sounds easy enough for even ME to make! ^__^ and miso mashed potatoes a’comin’ up!? oh my! xoxo

  7. I’m so glad you posted this Stephanie! Couples and even singles shouldn’t miss out on a Thanksgiving feast. You’ve made it beautiful and approachable. btw, love the addition of lemongrass…

  8. Michele says:

    I wonder how this would work with a breast. I make a breast for The Husband and I because he doesn’t like dark meat (where the flavor is, right?). Think I could use a breast with this recipe?

    1. steph says:

      ooh, i don’t think i’d braise a breast – it’ll end up too dry. i don’t usually cook breasts, but this recipe looks pretty good!

  9. molly yeh says:

    thanksgiving for two?!?! that is the cutest thing i’ve ever heard :)

  10. Shannon says:

    Girl, you are so dang creative! I love the lemongrass brine. And I also love that it’s for two! This is the first year out of the past three that it won’t just be my husband and me, so I know what it’s like :)

  11. Tieghan says:

    I am so for Thanksgiving for two! Love this!

  12. This looks amazing Stephanie! I love turkey/ chicken legs – so moist and full of flavour! Also, snap with the thanksgiving for two – these recipes are perfect for me!

  13. Karen says:

    I was just wondering what to make for Thanksgiving this year…me and my spouse are vegetarians, and our 2 kids are carnivores, but I didn’t want to make a whole turkey just for the kids! This looks absolutely perfect. Am so glad I stumbled across your beautiful blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

$(function(){ var trigger = $('.hamburger'), overlay = $('.overlay'), isClosed = false; trigger.click(function () { hamburger_cross(); }); function hamburger_cross() { if (isClosed == true) { overlay.hide(); trigger.removeClass('is-open'); trigger.addClass('is-closed'); isClosed = false; } else { overlay.show(); trigger.removeClass('is-closed'); trigger.addClass('is-open'); isClosed = true; } } $('[data-toggle="offcanvas"]').click(function () { $('#wrapper').toggleClass('toggled'); }); bindBehavior.subscribe(); });