Bourbon Brined Pumpkin Molasses Glazed Turkey Drumsticks

Glazed Turkey Legs

Glazed Turkey Drumsticks can be a fun alternative to a whole roasted turkey as a Thanksgiving meal. But there’s no rule that says you can only eat them at Thanksgiving.

Bourbon Brined Pumpkin Molasses Glazed Turkey Drumsticks 

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Inspired by Bakeaholic Mama http://​www​.bakeaholicmama​.com/​2​0​1​3​/​1​0​/​p​u​m​p​k​i​n​-​g​l​a​z​e​d​-​t​u​r​k​e​y​-​l​e​g​s​.​h​tml

Glazed Turkey Legs


  • 10 cup water
  • 2 cup bourbon
  • 1 ½ cup kosher salt (if you use table salt cut this amount in half)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 turkey drumsticks
  • ½ cup plain pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Brine the drumsticks. In a large pot set over low heat, add the water, bourbon, salt, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves. Cook stirring occasionally until salt has dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool. Add the turkey drumsticks to a large bowl; pour in the brine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, remove the turkey drumsticks rinse and dry them well. Discard the brine and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile make the glaze. Add pumpkin puree, apple cider, cider vinegar, molasses, mustard, brown sugar, onion powder, granulated garlic, 5 spice powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper to medium sauce pan set over medium heat. Simmer the mixture until it is thick and saucy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Lay the drumsticks onto a parchment lined baking sheet making sure there is room between each for even cooking. Brush them liberally on both sides with the glaze.

Place the drumsticks in the heated oven and roast them 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven, brush them with more glaze, turn them over and brush the other sides with more glaze. Roast an additional 15 minutes, then. Turn the oven to 325 degrees F. and continue the process of turning and brushing every 15 minutes for a total cooking time of 1 ½ hour to 2 hour, depending on size. You may run out of sauce before they cook all the way and that is just fine. Once they begin to look quite brown on the outside begin checking the interior temperature with an insta-read thermometer. Roast until the turkey legs register 165 degrees F.

Remove from oven. Let rest about 8 minutes then serve warm.