Turkey Leg Roulade Recipe
Serve the best parts of turkey with time to spare
“Instead of a whole turkey, I like to serve this leg-and-thigh roulade. The meat is more moist, and everybody gets to enjoy the dark meat, not just those two lucky people who snag the drumsticks. The gravy and roulade are both made ahead of time, which is a big help on the day.”
To make the roulade, the day before serving:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, rosemary, thyme, shallots, garlic, peppercorns, and olive oil. Set aside.
- Arrange two 18-inch squares of aluminum foil on a work surface, over lapping them slightly. Open the butterflied leg-thigh portions flat and lay them, skin side down and long sides overlapping slightly, on the foil. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper and then brush with the herb–olive oil mixture.
- Working from the long edge closest to you, roll up the turkey to form a log about 4 inches in diameter and 10 inches long. Wrap the foil around the turkey and twist the ends of the foil to secure into a tight bundle. Place the bundle on the rack on the baking sheet.
- Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted (directly through the foil) into the middle of the roulade registers 145°F, about 1 hour. Remove the roulade from the oven and let cool in the foil for 40 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.
To make the gravy, the day before serving:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the turkey bones in a roasting pan, drizzle with the canola oil, and toss to coat with the oil. Roast until browned, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Transfer the roasted bones to a large stockpot, and set the roasting pan over medium heat on the stove top. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the roasting pan and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to dislodge any browned bits on the pan bottom. The mixture will be quite thick at this point. Transfer the vegetables and liquid to the stockpot. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and broth to the stockpot, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced by about half, 3 to 4 hours.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan, and discard the bones and vegetables. Place the saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and simmer until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 hour longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool to room temperature. You should have about 6 cups. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (The gravy may be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.)
To finish, 2 hours before serving:
- Remove the roulade from the refrigerator and remove from the foil. Season the roulade generously with salt and pepper and let come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place the roulade on the rack on the baking sheet and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the roulade registers 140°F, about 25 minutes.
- Just before the roulade is ready, lift off and discard any fat that has congealed on the surface of the gravy. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- To serve, cut the roulade into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices and arrange the slices on a warmed platter. Drizzle with a little of the hot gravy and serve immediately. Pass additional gravy at the table.
Marc’s Tips: You can ask your butcher to bone and butterfly the turkey leg-thigh portions, in which case you’ll need about 2 1⁄2 pounds (boned weight). Make sure to ask for the bones, plus a few necks or other bones, for making the gravy. The recipe makes a lot of gravy, which is perfect for leftovers. Mix some with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make a fantastic dressing for turkey or chicken salad.