thanksgiving 2012, take i: herb roasted turkey thighs with brussels sprouts

by Chen

The main dish for our small gathering (three exactly: my roommate, a friend, and I). An herb-abundant twist on the traditional whole roasted turkey.

herb roasted turkey thighs with brussels sprouts
Makes 4 generous servings

2 turkey thighs, boneless and skinless, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds

zest from one lemon
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock

16 to 20 brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
1 tbsp EVOO

salt and pepper

Rinse the thighs and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the thighs with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for 6 to 8 hours. Remember to bring the thighs to room temperature before baking.

In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, garlic, thyme, and sage. Set aside.

When ready to roast, evenly distribute the herb mixture between two thighs. Spread the herb all over one side of each thigh. Roll up and tightly tie with butcher’s twine.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Add 1 tbsp EVOO to a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown the turkey until all the sides are golden brown. Transfer to a baking dish. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the lemon juice and chicken stock into the skillet. Stir and scrap up any bites on the bottom. Let the liquid reduce by half then remove from the heat.

Pour the sauce mixture over the turkey. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the brussels sprouts, 1 tbsp EVOO, salt (about 1/4 tsp), and pepper together. After 20 minutes, uncover the turkey and add the brussel sprouts to the dish. Cook for another 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted to the center registers 165F. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with pan juice.