Roast Turkey Legs with Cracker Stuffing and Lemon-Sage Butter

Aya Brackett

Butter and sage make everything taste like Thanksgiving—even a simple turkey leg with cracker-meal and vegetable dressing.

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup pecans

  • 2 sleeves saltine crackers (about 60 crackers)

  • 2 turkey drumsticks (about 1 1 ⁄ 2 pounds each)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup milk

  • 10 to 12 fresh sage leaves

  • 1 lemon, halved


1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Pulse the pecans in a food processor until the pieces are about 1 ⁄ 4 inch, then transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the saltines and add to the bowl. Sprinkle the drumsticks with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion, carrots, and celery, and sprinkle with pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the onion is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cracker-nut mixture and 1 ⁄ 4 cup of the milk and stir to coat; taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more pepper if you’d like, though you probably won’t need any salt.

3. Put the drumsticks on top of the dressing, facing opposite directions. Put the skillet in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Carefully lift each turkey leg, stir the dressing underneath, and turn the drumstick. Add the remaining 1 ⁄ 4 cup milk if the dressing looks dry. Continue roasting until the drumsticks read 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, another 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size. (If the drumsticks vary greatly in size, you may need to remove one from the oven before the other.)

4. Put the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and the sage in a small skillet over medium heat. Squeeze in the lemon juice and cook, stirring, until fragrant and bubbling and the sage has darkened; taste, adjust the seasoning, and keep warm. Slice the turkey and serve with the stuffing and drizzled with the sauce.

Recipe from Dinner For Everyone (Photo: Aya Brackett)