Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe: Orange Rosemary Turkey Thighs

Orphans, dead parents, lonely children at Christmas, morose spoken word recordings, everything you love about the holidays. Move the turkey over so you can fit your head in the oven. – April Winchell

Roast vegetables while you roast the thighs to round out your dinner.
As you may have read, I was stupid enough to purchase a post-holidays turkey at a reduced price. Perhaps stupid is too strong a word, because for the vast amount of $12.50 (about the usual price of one t-bone steak) we’re going to eat that bird at least four or five times. That’s cheap protein.

Did you know that, according to CBC, by noon today the highest paid CEOs in Canada made $44,000 – more than a whole year’s wages for the average Canadian. Disgraceful.

I mention that because we have to pinch every penny as hard as we can in these uncertain times. So cheap meat is a godsend.

The marinade. Use a bag to marinate the thighs. It's easier.
Nutrition value in turkey thighs
Turkey thighs (especially if skin is removed) are a very healthy meal. There is next to no fat within the actual meat of any poultry. 

A 314 g serving (3/4 lb?) has 493 calories (242 of them from the fat/skin). Remove that skin and you’re laughing.

That size serving has 118% of your daily value of protein, 26% of your DV of iron,125% selenium, 86% zinc, 47% riboflavin, 38% niacin, 36% Vitamin B6, 54% phosphorous, AND 0% carbohydrates. 

It has several other vitamins and minerals as well, bit if I listed them all you would stop reading.

Tired of turkey?
So exactly how does one vary the taste of turkey enough so your family doesn’t run screaming from the kitchen? Well, there’s various ways.

Marinating in a bag makes distributing the marinade a breeze.
I purchased a “fresh” turkey. I was quite surprised to bring it home and find ice inside. It felt fresh on the outside… 

Obviously it was fresh at one time but not when I got it home. It must have frozen from the inside out (an odd occurrence) on the drive home, or so it seemed.

When I thought it was “fresh” I decided I would freeze some. I didn’t know if you could re-freeze thawed turkey or not. Come to find out you can. I found that info on the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service web site. You can read more here

Bottom line? You can freeze some for later. So I did.

Other ways are to get creative. A few days ago I posted a recipe for turkey sausage. It was very flavourful and was wonderful as meatballs in a turkey and rice soup. That was fantastic with unexpected flavour.

This recipe is one of those ways using the “dark” meat of the bird. It’s slightly reminiscent of roast lamb, but only because of the presence of garlic and rosemary. Since the oven was already on, I roasted potato wedges and broccoli (yes, roasted broccoli – yum!). Why waste the heat from the oven when you can do the whole meal in it?

Orange Rosemary Turkey Thighs
Prep: 5 min  |  Marinate: 2 hrs  |  Roast: 1 hr  |  Serves 2-4
Get the most from your hot oven. Roast veggies at the same time.
2 turkey thighs
juice from 1 medium orange
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp rosemary, dried
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all the marinade ingredients in s small bowl. Whisk for about 10 seconds until the comes together and looks creamy.

Place the turkey thighs in a zip lock bag. Pour the marinade over the thighs. Close the bag and work the marinade over the thighs. Let marinate on the counter for 2 hours. You can redistribute the marinade in the bag occasionally if you wish.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the marinated thighs in an oven proof dish. Pour the remaining marinade over them. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if desired.

Roast for 1 hour to 170°F, or until no longer pink around the bone and juices are clear.


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