Easy (Yet Spectacular) Herbed Roasted Turkey Thighs with PumpkinIngredients:
If you wish to make a sauce for your turkey:
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup salt (3/4 cup Kosher or coarse salt)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried sage (additional for roasting)
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 quarts cold water
- Additional Coconut oil for turkey pan and to coat squash
- Turkey thighs, 4
- 1 Kabocha or 2 Acorn Squash; split, seeds removed, sliced into 1 inch slices
- Several sprigs rosemary, Thyme, or whatever herb you can find.
- At least 6 cloves garlic, halved (not peeled.)
- Coarse salt and pepper (you guessed it, for the squash)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cups good quality chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- Pepper to taste
Bonus: Deglaze your pan if you would like the most amazing sauce for your turkey. Your mouth will thank you - trust me.
- In a heavy bottomed, medium sized saucepan, combine the brine ingredients.
- Bring ingredients to a boil, lower flame to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the salt is completely dissolved and your kitchen smells like absolute heaven.
- Pour brine into a heatproof container and allow to cool.
- Once cool, add two quarts cold water. (The brine can now be stored for a day or two in a covered container)
- Add your turkey pieces to the brine and soak for roughly an hour per pound of meat.
- Prior to roasting, preheat oven to 450 F.
- After the brining time is complete, rinse the meat under cold water to remove brine. (Neglecting this step will result in highly salty turkey; an absolute travesty.)
- Dry Turkey thighs thoroughly, season with generous dashes of pepper, and rubbed sage.
- Set a heavy bottomed saucepan on high and add a generous tablespoon of fat. I use coconut oil, as it’s paleo friendly and has a nice high tolerance for heat, however, any animal fat will do nicely.
- Add your meat to the screaming hot pan, flesh side down.
- At this point, do your turkey a favour and LEAVE IT ALONE! Do not peak at the underside for at least two minutes, until you can see the meat turning white around the edges, indicating the skin is browning nicely.
- Now you can turn the meat when it’s a lovely toasty brown.
- Once you turn the meat, pop the pan into the pre-heated oven wth your rack adjusted to the middle shelf. Allow at least 20 minutes before you begin temping the meat. The goal is for the turkey to register about 150 F in the thickest area of the thigh.
- Once your turkey is safely tucked into the oven, now is a wonderful time to pop your squash into the oven as well. Nothing like double duty in the oven!
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place your squash on the sheet.
- Brush one side generously with melted coconut oil. Turn your squash over and brush the other side with melted coconut oil.
- Liberally scatter coarse salt and pepper over the squash and scatter your fresh herbs across the top so each piece has some contact with the herbs.
- Then place a halved piece of garlic on each piece of squash. Take a step back and admire your handy work.
- Pop your squash into the oven a few inches below your roasting turkey.
- Allow to roast for about 15 minutes. At this point, either drizzle the squash with additional coconut oil, or if you’re feeling particularly brazen, scoop some of the lovely drippings from your roasting turkey things and drizzle it over your roasting squash.
- Your squash is done when the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork and lightly browned on the underside.
- Discard the herbs before serving but savour the garlic action. It’s delightful and mellow after roasting.
- Once meat has reached it’s proper temperature, remove pan from the oven and transfer the turkey thighs to a heat proof plate.
- Tent it with foil and let the meat rest.
To Deglaze Pan:
- Pour off all but a tablespoon of fat from your pan.
- Turn heat to medium high.
- Add about a half cup of white wine to pan, and scrape off the fond from the bottom of your pan rigorously with a wooden spoon or something sturdy that will help remove those lovely meaty remains coating the bottom of your skillet.
- Once this is done, add our wine to the skillet, turn the heat to high and allow the wine to reduce by half, which should take roughly 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add about a cup and a half of chicken stock to your pan, turn heat to high and allow to reduce by half.
- Now remove your pan from the heat, and whisk in two tablespoons of cold butter.
- Season to taste with white or black pepper. Do not add salt, as the drippings from a brined meat do not need further salting!
- Spoon your pan jus over anything and everything.