Roasted Turkey Thighs
My favorite part of chicken or turkey is the thigh. However, unlike breast, wings or legs, turkey thighs are not as easy to find in my area and, when available, usually cost considerably more per pound than a whole bird. One time, about a week after Easter, I was shopping and noticed the fresh turkeys were on sale, I mean a really big sale. Apparently, the store had stocked too many for the holiday. Since I never have turkey for Easter, it looked rather appetizing, but I passed it by. I was about to go to check out when I realized how utterly ridiculous it would be to turn down a 13 pound fresh turkey for a total price of, get this, $3.50. I could not resist.
So, there I was with this big bird that I had to use or freeze by the 'sell by' date, which was the next day. Then it hit me. Why not cut it into parts and freeze? I have often done that with a whole breast. So I did. I took off the breast meat for boneless roasts. I packaged the wings and legs separately. I froze the carcass for broth. And, most importantly, I finally had my turkey thighs. Admittedly, I might not find a deal like that again, but when fresh turkey is on any kind of sale over the holidays, I get one or two birds and have inexpensive turkey meals throughout the year.
- 2 turkey thighs, about 2-1/2 pounds total (see notes below)
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 350° F. Pat the thighs dry with paper towels. Rub the butter or oil all over each thigh. Season all over with the salt, pepper, sage, rosemary and thyme. Place in a small, shallow roasting pan or ovenproof skillet, preferably on a baking rack. Roast, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until an internal temperature of 170° to 175° F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from pan, cover loosely with foil, and let rest about 15 minutes before serving. If desired, make a pan gravy or sauce with the pan drippings and canned or homemade broth.
Notes: For a crispier skin, place the thighs, uncovered, on a sheet or other pan large enough to catch any drippings and refrigerate overnight. If that is not a possibility, do it the morning that you plan to serve them. Even a few hours will help as it dries out the skin. Make certain that nothing else comes into contact with the raw meat. If you are using thighs from a turkey you cut up and you need to serve more people, you can add the wings and/or legs. They will take about the same time to roast. If one gets done before the other, remove and cover with foil. Depending on the size, one turkey thigh might be more than enough for one person. The meat can be removed from the bones and sliced before serving.