Work Those Thighs!

Turkey thighs are a great value: inexpensive, flavorful, and versatile. Chowhounds braise, roast, bake, and sauce them with flavors from around the globe. Here are a couple of standout recipes:

Turkey tacos: Put several thighs in a pot with a quartered onion, 5 or 6 lightly smashed cloves of garlic, cumin, 2 bay leaves, and puréed rehydrated dried ancho chiles (plus hotter ones to your taste) or a can of chipotles in adobo. Add the juice of 2 limes, 1 orange, and water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer and cover until turkey is tender. Remove from liquid and let cool. Remove and discard (or purée with hand blender, minus bay leaves) other solids in the pot and turn the heat back on to medium to reduce the cooking liquid until it thickens.

When meat is cool, use your fingers to shred turkey meat. Remove cooking liquid from the pot, reserving 1/2 cup or so. Heat 1 or 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the pot. Add shredded turkey meat and allow to brown and stick in places to the pan. Add reserved cooking liquid, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve with warmed tortillas, black beans, green or red sauce, avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro, and whatever else you like. Also great with chilaquiles, in a quesadilla, or as a tamale filling with rajas.

Grilled turkey thighs: Prepare 1 turkey thigh per person. Bone turkey thighs (leave skin on), cut in half, and pound to even out the thickness. Marinate in lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and olive oil for a couple of hours or overnight. Grill until done. Serve with pipian mole.

Thanksgiving for one: Season 1 turkey thigh with salt and pepper and your choice of herbs or seasoning (crosby_p likes Williams-Sonoma turkey herbs). Roast at 375°F for 75 minutes. Serve with stuffing, creamed onions, squash, or green beans with lemon zest and crushed hazelnuts.

Hounds also suggest these great sauces for turkey thighs:

• Mole sauce (homemade is best, but there are great commercial makes out there)
• Trader Joe’s mojito sauce
• Curry sauce (homemade or commercial). Trader Joe’s makes several good curry simmer sauces
• Combination of tamari, Worcestershire sauce, and concentrated shiitake broth boosts the “beefy flavor” of the turkey dark meat

Board Link: What to do with Turkey Thighs

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