Roasted Turkey Legs with Sage Salt

First born got a haircut recently.

From this...
From this…
...to this.
…to this.

So did Kita.

From this...
From this…
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…to this.

Some of my herbs got sheared, too.

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The pile of sage leaves went into an herb/salt blend to flavor roasted turkey legs. It’s a recipe I made at the request of my daughter, from a paleo lifestyle cookbook she bought in support of her interest in fitness and healthful eating. I don’t own such a cookbook, myself. (Dietary cookbooks: Bleh. This one even has an illustrated guide to poop, and Cookbook Wall has no category for that.) So I was pleasantly surprised to discover how delicious this recipe is. We dined with knives and forks, although the urge to pick up the oversized drumstick by hand and gnaw on it directly was strong. Because both First born and Husband work out at the same gym, lots of conversations around my dining table sound like this now:

She: “Kettle bell, kettle bell, box jump.”

He: “Time, distance, box jump. How many?”

She: “Wod. Wod. 27. You?”

He: “17, okay? Burpee, burpee.”

She: “Push press! Squat.”

Me: Sigh. Cookie, anyone?

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Fresh sage leaves, about to be baked for 4 hours

♦ ♦ ♦

Roasted Turkey Legs with Sage Salt, adapted from a recipe in Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo, © Diane Sanfilippo, published in 2012 by Victory Belt Publishing Inc. of Las Vegas. 

Make the Sage Salt first, and start early in the day or the day before you plan to roast the turkey legs. (Don’t be put off by the smell of fresh sage being cooked, which I found reminiscent of cat pee. [And no, my cat can’t reach the sage growing in a pot on my deck.] Once dried and combined with the sea salt, the sage smells warm and wonderful.)

Preheat oven to 250°F. Have enough fresh sage leaves to fill a 1-cup measure, making sure to pinch the stems from the leaves. Spread them out on a large baking sheet in a single layer, and bake until thoroughly dry, about 4 hours. Combine the dried sage with 1/2 cup coarse sea salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a knife blade, and pulse until the herbs are tiny bits dispersed evenly in the salt. You can also do this with a mortar and pestle. (Repeat the drying process with the finished salt if there is any residual moisture.) Store in a glass bottle with lid.

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To prepare the turkey legs:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush 3 large turkey legs with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. (Coconut oil can be substituted.) Season generously with Sage Salt, turning the legs to coat all sides. (Remember: when handling raw poultry or meat, wash your hands well before touching anything else to prevent the spread of bacteria.) Place the turkey legs in a shallow roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake another 15-30 minutes, until the centers of the legs reach 165°F., as tested with a food thermometer.

Serve with a salad and mashed potatoes, plus that can of whole cranberry sauce way in the back of the pantry. Grunt with pleasure.

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