This recipe for cider-braised turkey thighs with chorizo is a great alternative for smaller Thanksgiving gatherings or Sunday suppers.
With Thanksgiving Day around the corner and ideas for decoration, recipes and survival tips popping up everywhere, it’s hard to avoid thinking about turkey. With all the craziness about this bird… however, I am not looking forward eating leftovers for weeks. I don’t want to be a party pooper here but turkey doesn’t come in XS sizes. So what’s the alternative? A miniature turkey aka chicken? I hear a voice in my head scream sacrilege. Not an option! Instead of making the turkey smaller, I picked my favorite part of it, the turkey thigh. I also craved sauce, lots of it, I wanted my turkey swim in a pool of sauce. With so many sides going on, I wasn’t in the mood for peeling and chopping extra veggies instead, I flavored the sauce with chorizo, very manly of me.
cider-braised turkey thigh with chorizo
Ask your meat dealer for two thighs of similar size, to ensure they are equally cooked. My chorizo sausages had been seasoned with more oregano than I would ask for, but that was actually great for the sauce. Talking about the sauce, I use a fat separator and it works great. But don’t worry, if you don’t have one, pour the cider-based cooking liquid into a measuring cup and chill until the fat separates, then spoon.
- about 3½ pounds (2) skin-on, bone-in turkey thigh
- 2 Tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil
- 355 ml / 1½ cups hard apple cider
- 400 ml / 1⅔ cups chicken broth
- 1 pound smoked chorizo, cut into 2.5 cm / 1 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 205 C / 400 F.
- Pat the turkey thigh dry and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy pot, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the turkey thigh and sear on all sides until browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add cider, chicken broth, chorizo, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover the pot with a lid and braise the turkey thigh in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F.
- Transfer the thighs and the chorizo to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan and spoon off any fat. This is a great job for a fat separator.
- To thicken the sauce, make a slurry: 2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp. cold water. Stir into the sauce and cook over medium heat until thickened. You may not need all of the slurry, use just enough until the sauce has the right consistency. Season to taste and transfer to a sauceboat.
- Carve the turkey thigh and transfer the meat to a deep serving platter and serve with the sauce.