Sunday, 19 October 2014

Roast Turkey Thigh Salad

Roast turkey thigh slices are served with a simple salad and a granary roll

We're approaching that time of year when turkeys will be bought and consumed in their millions - be it at Thanksgiving or at Christmas - but I always wonder why so many of us confine the enjoyment of turkey to just one special time of year. I buy turkey year round but rarely if ever in the form of a whole bird. I buy breast steaks for frying, diced breast meat for stir frying and perhaps most often of all, turkey legs and thighs for roasting. I bought this turkey leg and thigh last week and stuck the leg for the moment in my deep freeze. On what was an unseasonably warm Autumnal day, I roasted the thigh and served it cold as part of a simple but really delicious salad.

Turkey drumstick and thigh

Ingredients (Serves Two)

1 whole turkey thigh (bone in)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 generous handfuls of mixed salad (or as required)
2 granary bread rolls
Butter for the rolls (optional)
Homemade rowan and apple jelly to serve (or jelly of choice)

Elasticated webbing removed from turkey thigh


If your turkey thigh comes with elasticated webbing like this one, you should remove this prior to cooking. This will allow you to open up the thigh and season the flesh side with salt and pepper.

Turkey thigh ready for roasting

Your oven should be preheated to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.

Lightly oil a roasting tray and lay the thigh on it, seasoned flesh side down. Rub the skin with more oil and season with salt.

Turkey thigh is pierced at thickest part

Put the turkey thigh in to your oven for one hour. Unless the thigh is exceptionally large, this should be long enough to fully cook it but it is vital to ensure this is the case in every instance. The way I do this is by sticking a metal skewer deep in to the thickest part of the thigh, right through to the bone.

Checking turkey juices run clear

Remove the skewer and use it to lightly press down right next to the hole you have made and check the escaping juices are running completely clear. Any trace of red or pink whatsoever and you should put it back in to the oven for ten more minutes before testing again in the same way.

Roast turkey thigh

When you have ensured the thigh it fully cooked, lift it with a large spatula and carving fork to a deep plate.

Roast turkey thigh is covered and left to rest

Cover the turkey thigh and leave it for at least fifteen minutes to rest.

Carving roast turkey thigh

The turkey thigh should be carved on a board. It can then be served immediately if you wish but I re-covered the sliced meat and left it to cool completely.

Roast turkey thigh slices are plated

Divide the turkey slices between two serving plates before adding the salad and roll (buttered if desired). The jelly I served with this meal is homemade rowan and apple jelly which is more commonly served with beef or wild game but I think it worked very well with the turkey.

Granary rroll and salad are plated with roast turkey thigh slices

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