COVER YOUR BASES HAVE EXTRA TURKEY PARTS FOR THANKSGIVING
Every Thanksgiving for years there was a petty argument that would start about 20 minutes before dinner was served among the “Dark Meat” lovers. It was always about who was going to get a wing, leg, or thigh. Since there are only two of those per bird it was always a problem. The thighs were the easiest to deal with since I could get at least 2 to 3 servings per thigh, the wings and legs, not so much. So I decided to make life easier for myself by preparing “extra” wings, legs and thighs. I also realized by doing this I didn’t have to deal with people who would gather around the dinner table way before it was time to eat to be the first to grab at the dark meat. (That makes me crazy) Preparing extra turkey parts (I make more than I need) ensured everyone would get what they wanted and it made me feel less anxious since I always play chef as well as the referee!
Those extra pieces of turkey are great because I love, love, love to have a turkey weekend of leftovers. Making turkey sandwiches, Panini’s soups and salads are a must. I think I enjoy the leftovers more than the original dinner. (Maybe because the stress level is less) I can chill out have a glass of beer eat a great sandwich and watch football! Nice.
I’m sharing with you this week a recipe for turkey thighs. This recipe will cover 4 turkey thighs and you should have 6 to 8 servings after you divide the portions after roasting. The same marinade will be enough to make 6 legs or 8 wings. You don’t have to stick to all thighs you can throw in some legs and wings. On many occasions I have tripled the recipe and made extra thighs, legs, and wings all together when I am expecting a larger crowd.
Remember to plan ahead and prepare as many dishes that will freeze well. Dishes like stuffing, cream spinach, and whipped sweet potatoes are perfect for that. Desserts freeze nicely as well especially cookies, pies, cheesecakes and cakes without frosting. You can frost after they have defrosted and it tastes like you just baked it.
If you are trying new recipes for the first time try it out first this week to make sure your family and guests will like it.
Here is a link to a video that will demonstrate the turkey marinade. The video is for a whole turkey but I broke it down for the turkey parts. There are more videos and recipes for Thanksgiving including cranberry’s and dessert’s! Enjoy!
- 4 1 pound Turkey Thighs
- 8 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ? cup low sodium soy sauce
- ? cup fresh lemon juice, keep rinds
- 2 sprigs of rosemary,
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley, thyme, oregano
- 6 sage leaves
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 5 to 6 cups chicken broth, home made or store bought
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 tablespoons dry sherry, (optional)
- ¼ cup chives, minced
- ½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds, garnish
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped coarsely
Pre-Heat oven the to 350 Degrees
Place the turkey thighs in a small roasting pan. Whisk the Dijon mustard, soy sauce and lemon juice together and pour evenly over the thighs.
Place the rinds from the lemons in the roasting pan and scatter the rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano and sage leaves all around the pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the thighs and season with cracked pepper.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 60 minutes undisturbed. Remove the foil and add 2 cups of chicken stock. Use a wooden spoon to stir the natural juices from the thighs at the bottom of the pan with the stock. Baste the thighs with a turkey baster. Raise the heat to 375 degrees.
Roast another 60 minutes without the foil basting every 10 to 15 minutes until the tops of the thighs are a rich golden brown and the meat starts to literally fall off the bone. (If the pan gets too dry while roasting keep adding 1 cup of chicken stock at a time.)
Remove the turkey thighs from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.
Pour two cups of chicken stock into the pan drippings and mix with a wooden spoon, use a wire mesh to strain the juices into a medium sauce pan, let the mixture sit a minute then skim off as much of the fat that has risen to the top. Bring to a gentle boil.
In a small glass bowl with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch add two tablespoons of water and dissolve until all the lumps are gone. Add to the saucepan and stir with wooden spoon until the drippings start to thicken slightly. Repeat the process with the cornstarch one more time. If you feel you would like thicker gravy keep repeating the cornstarch process until you have the thickness you prefer. It usually takes me about 2 to 3 times before I have the thickness I prefer. Add sherry (optional) and simmer for one minute.
The thighs are large and will give you two to three serving portions so slice them accordingly. Arrange the turkey thighs on the platter and pour 2 hot ladles of gravy over the top to keep them moist and garnish with chives, pomegranate seeds and Italian parsley.
Serves 6 to 8