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Turkey Thighs - Can't Fail, Best Part of the Turkey

  • n

Do you ever crave turkey aside from Thanksgiving? Around the New Year I roasted an 8 pound turkey in my little rotisserie & it was delicious, but it was still a lot of meat. Well, kudos to my mother who had a brilliant idea which I tried last night, & it turned so well that it's going into the regular dinner rotation around here.

Turkey thighs! It tasted like the best of Thanksgiving and could not have been easier. In the Cuisinart I buzzed about 8 large slices of bread (for East Coast - Pepperidge Farms white - 10 slices, West Coast - Orowheat Oat Nut). Placed crumbs in buttered glass cassrole. In Cuisinart minced onion & 2 c celery, 3 cloves garlic and fried gently in butter until liquid evaporated. Add to crumbs and add 1 - 2 tsp. Bell's Poultry Seasoning (taste after one). Sprinkle with water to lightly moisten. Removed skin and obvious fat from 2 thighs (1 1/2 # total) & placed skin side up over the crumbs. 400 for 1/2 hr. to sear, then covered and down to 325 until done - maybe close to 2 hours total. So very delicious. Stuffing was moist but crisp on the bottom. Turkey was so tender, pulled off the bone easily with a fork & so moist no gravy required.
Served with baked potato, steamed sliced carrots and string beans mixed with a little unsalted butter, sugar and salt. Husband's verdict: "Excellent!"

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  1. sounds delicious - i'm going to try it. thanks for sharing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: meb903

      I wonder how it would come out at 400 the whole time, still covering after a half hour. Would be done sooner. Still as moist? Going to try that next time.

    2. Sounds great, but why remove the skin?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Arbuckle

        Must have been a couple thousand calories of fat under that skin - seriously. There was still plenty of marbling of the meat and juice left to moisten the stuffing well. My feeling about fat is that when it is very easily removed I remove it, and find healthy ways to add flavor. Not a fanatic about fat. If you love the crispy skin place it in a pan by itself and no doubt after about an hour most of the fat will have melted off it & you can salt it and have a little crispy skin appetizer.

        1. re: Niki Rothman

          agreed, the best part. i brine them, then modified the cooks illustrated method of roasting chicken parts. heat a a bit of oil in cast iron pan to smoking. saute skin side down for 5 minutes at high heat. turn over and saute another 3 minutes.

          at that point, the recipe called for turing parts skin side up and roasting in a 450-oven for 15-20 minutes.

          the turkey thighs take about 30 minutes. i'm sure if you placed the thighs over the stuffing and finished roasting in a fairly high oven, it would turn out fine. crispy skin, but with far less fat since most of it would be left in the sauteing (sp) pan. and the meat juices would go into the stuffing.

          1. re: Niki Rothman

            Sounds like turkey gribenes! A splendid idea - thanks.

        2. Place turkey thighs, wings and/or legs in a tightly covered casserole dish or covered roasting pan. Roast for two hours at 350 degrees.

          They brown in the covered dish, the turkey is very moist and falling off the bone, and you'll find delicious carmelized juices at the bottom of the pan. The time and temperature is not critical as long as the cooking time is long enough for the meat to start to fall off the bone and the pan is covered so they stay moist during the cooking.

          1. I love turkey thighs too. During the summer I smoke a thigh or too (on the barbeque), it is amazing and much more affordable than the smoked turkey parts you buy in the grocery stores and many, many times tastier.

            1. b
              Bride of the Juggler

              I am always amazed how cheap turkey parts other than the breast are. It's as if they make all the profit on the breast, and are practically giving the rest away. I guess you could say the rest is 'just gravy.'

              Thank you.