Whatever you’re celebrating, the best holiday moments happen around the dinner table. And we’ve got this year’s menu covered, with a table full of please-a-crowd dishes that put a modern twist on old faves. Here’s to keeping the festivities (and flavours) flowing.

Turkey Leg Roulade

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Dark meat lovers, rejoice! This recipe takes advantage of the most flavourful part of the turkey, and, along with a savoury, vegetable-forward stuffing, ensures that every bite is delicious, even without gravy. While not the quickest way to prepare a holiday turkey, this recipe can easily be broken up into steps and made ahead, so that on the day there is nothing more to do than finish cooking and enjoy. Ask your butcher to butterfly the turkey legs to make prep simpler, and don’t forget to save the bones for homemade stock.


½ cup yellow raisins

1½ cups dry white wine, divided

½ cup unsalted butter

3 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, well washed

3 cups thinly sliced collard greens, stalks discarded

½ cup finely chopped celery

Kosher salt, to taste

1 tbsp each chopped fresh thyme leaves, rosemary leaves and sage leaves

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

4 lbs turkey leg quarters (should be 2 large legs), butterflied and bones saved for another use

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 cups homemade or low-sodium turkey or chicken stock, plus extra if needed


How to Make

Place raisins and ½ cup of the wine in a small bowl and set aside.

Start by making stuffing for roulade. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and stir to coat in butter. Cook, stirring often, until leeks are wilted to half their original volume (about 5 minutes). Fold in the collard greens and celery before seasoning to taste with salt.

Continue cooking until greens are tender (about 8 to 10 minutes). Add thyme, rosemary, sage and soaked raisins along with any remaining wine they were soaked in. Increase heat to high and cook until all the liquid has evaporated (about 4 minutes). Transfer stuffing to a bowl and stir in lemon zest; taste, then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.

Let cool to room temperature before continuing with recipe. Alternatively, you can store stuffing mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When ready to assemble roulades, start by placing one leg, skin side down, with a short end closest to you. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half of the stuffing mixture in an even layer over the meat, leaving a ½-inch border. Repeat with remaining butterflied leg.

Working with one leg at a time, roll turkey leg by tucking skin side into the stuffing to form a long cylinder. Arrange, seam side down, on a work surface. Secure roulade by tying with butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals. Repeat the procedure with the remaining leg. At this point, each roulade may be wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let come to room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.

When ready to cook, pour broth and remaining 1 cup of wine into a Dutch oven big enough to fit both roulades and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Carefully place rolled legs in hot stock mixture. Add more broth if necessary to cover. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until a= thermometer inserted in the legs registers 165°F (about 1 hour). Check every once in a while to ensure stock mixture is maintained at a very gentle simmer. Carefully transfer each roulade to a large wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes. Strain cooking liquid, reserving for gravy or another use, and discard the solids.

While turkey rests, preheat oven to 400°F.

Roast roulades on wire rack placed over baking sheet until the skin is crisp (about 20 to 25 minutes). Let rest on wire rack for 5 minutes once out of oven before removing butcher’s twine and slicing into ½-inch-thick rounds. Enjoy with your favourite accompaniments.


It’s All Gravy

For those of us who enjoy having gravy on our holiday tables, a homemade gravy is quick and simple to do. Start by melting ¼ cup unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 7 tbsp all-purpose flour until incorporated. Continue to whisk until mixture turns golden brown (about 4 minutes). To this roux gradually add 1 cup turkey stock or chicken stock, whisking constantly until smooth. Continue adding another 3 cups of stock, 1 cup at a time, whisking until all is incorporated and mixture is smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking often, until gravy thickens and no floury taste remains (about 5 minutes). Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and enjoy.


Recipe and food styling by Lawren Moneta
Prop styling by Nicole Sjostedt
Photography by Mark Gibbon

This recipe was originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of Western Living magazine.