If your go-to chicken recipes are starting to feel a little predictable, try roasting turkey thighs instead. Turkey thighs are loaded with savory dark meat that's great for roasting, as it doesn't dry out as quickly as chicken and retains its moisture under heat. Plus, while turkey does have a richer, deeper taste than chicken, the profiles of each are similar enough that turkey can be easily subbed in without disrupting a dish. So, when you're craving a gamier experience or just looking to cook something new, turkey thighs are the easy, delicious meat for the job.
There's a reason why this type of poultry tastes so much richer. Turkey thighs are loaded with collagen and connective tissues, and a simple slow-roast will transform those fibers into a thick, rich, luscious gelatin. It's a luxurious natural feature, but on the flip side, if you cook your turkey thighs for too short a time at too high a temperature, those same fibers could come out tough and unpleasantly chewy. To avoid this, keep the oven low, around 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, a pair of 2-pound turkey thighs will take roughly two hours to fully roast. A little planning ahead might be necessary, but for a stronger, moister flavor, the extra time will be well worth it. To make sure your swapped protein is safe to enjoy, grab a meat thermometer. Turkey thighs are done cooking when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken
A Bigger Bird With Bigger Flavor
Don't let the sheer size of turkey thighs scare you off. They may be larger than chicken thighs, but they're still simple to roast, and you'll end up with way more meat for your time investment. You can separate the thighs from the whole bird for faster cooking, or purchase pre-carved turkey thighs from your local butcher. Many grocery stores carry turkey thighs in the freezer aisle. Either way, the sheer volume of meat will stretch further than a small chicken to make flavorful stocks, broths, and gravies for use in future recipes.
Bone-in turkey thighs are an especially good swap for chicken thighs, as the two types of poultry require basically identical preparation methods. The costs are comparable as well, with turkey costing roughly $5 to $7 per pound compared to chicken's $3 to $5 per pound — a small price to switch up your weeknight dinners and add juicy, tender flavor.
For a hearty, warming dinner, you could whip up a pan of turkey cordon bleu or creamy roasted turkey thighs and dumplings. Please a crowd on a dime with turkey parmesan over marinara and spaghetti. Or, for make-ahead meal prep that delights all week long, use turkey thighs to make a big pot of pho or a stir-fry. You can season turkey thighs using regular chicken spices. Thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and parsley are all killer fits.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.