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Turketta
Turketta Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Serving an entire bird for Thanksgiving can be a total drag. (Who wants to watch Uncle Bob and Cousin Jeff fight over a drumstick again?) The solution? Cook only turkey thighs, suggests the Kitchy Kitchen. Coat them in herbs and baste them with wine for evenly cooked, super-tender meat that’s bursting with flavor.

4 to 5 servings

3 leafy sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed

20 fresh sage leaves

3 leafy sprigs rosemary, stemmed

2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons fennel seeds, crushed

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1½ teaspoons medium coarse sea salt

1½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

Three 1-pound boneless turkey thighs (skin on, not tied)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup dry white wine

1. Preheat the oven to 250ºF.

2. Finely chop the thyme, sage, rosemary and garlic together (you can do this by hand or by pulsing in a food processor). Grind the fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle, then add to the herb mixture along with the red-pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir together to combine.

3. With a paring knife, make about 10 incisions (about ½-inch deep) all over the turkey thighs. Divide the herb mixture into thirds; rub one third of the mixture inside the turkey pieces (reserve the remaining two thirds). Try to form each turkey thigh into a “log” by tucking the two edges of the thigh under and stretching the skin around it. Secure by tying a bit of kitchen twine around the bottom, middle and top of the thigh. Brush the olive oil over the skin and rub all over with the remaining herb mixture.

4. Set the turkey logs in a roasting pan, skin side up. Roast for 1 hour. Pour the wine over the turkey and baste with the wine and accumulated juices. Continue roasting, basting once every hour, until the skin is well browned and the meat is spoon tender, 1 to 1½ hours more (the internal temperature should be 160°F to 165ºF). Increase the heat to 500°F and cook for another 15 minutes, until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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