Sous Vide Turkey Thighs
You can't argue with tender, moist, flavorful and stress-free. That sums up sous vide turkey thighs glazed with maple syrup, Balsamic, Dijon and orange zest. The hands on time for this dish is about 20 minutes. The rest is hands free. What a pleasure. Even white meat lovers will love this sous vide recipe.
Servings (change as needed): 3 -4
- 2 boneless turkey thighs, with or without skin, Note 1 (1.5-2.0 pounds/0.68-0.9 kg total)
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or thyme
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- OPTIONAL BRINE: salt, peppercorns, sugar Note 1
- 2 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon good Balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or fresh thyme)
- 1/8 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
Turn Glaze into Sauce
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) turkey juices or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- GARNISH: sea salt, chopped parsley, extra orange zest
BRINE TURKEY THIGHS (OPTIONAL): Note 2
PREPARE SOUS VIDE BATH: Fill water in a large pot, container or sous vide machine as per manufacturers instructions. Set the temperature of immersion circulator (or sous vide 'oven') to 150F/65.6C and allow water to heat to that temperature.
PREPARE TURKEY FOR SOUS VIDE: Mix oil and poultry seasoning in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over turkey thighs and tuck edges under to make an even roll. Place small sprig of fresh rosemary under each thigh or sprinkle some dried rosemary on thighs. Don't put in too much rosemary or the flavors will be overpowering.
SOUS VIDE TURKEY: Place thighs side by side in freezer zipper-lock bag. Slowly lower bag into water. The pressure of the water will press air out of bag. When bag is just above water line and air is mostly out, seal (zip up) bag. Cooking time is minimum 2 1/2 hours and a maximum of 4 1/2 hours. (If thighs are fairly large, I cook them for 3 1/2 to 4 hours). Remove from water bath. Take thighs out of bag and remove skin if there is any. Reserve juices for sauce. Pat turkey dry with a paper towel.
MAKE GLAZE/SAUCE: In a small bowl or cup, whisk together all Glaze ingredients including 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Half of glaze will be used to glaze thighs - the rest to make the sauce. To make sauce, add remaining half of glaze, cornstarch, turkey juices or broth, 1/2 teaspoon orange zest and salt and pepper to taste to a small sauce pan. Heat on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly reduced and thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings (syrup, salt, orange, etc).
FINISH AND SERVE: To brown for a nice presentation or to get crispy skin (if using thighs with skin), place thighs on foil lined baking sheet, (skin side up if using skin), brush with glaze all over and broil for 2-3 minutes (no need to turn over) 6 inches/15 cm from heat at top. Remove and brush with glaze again. Add garnish of orange zest and parsley if desired. Slice and serve with sauce drizzled on top or on the side.
Nutrition values do not include garnishes or optional brining which will increase the sodium level very slightly (actually only a small amount is absorbed).
- How to debone a turkey thigh. Here's a video.
- To brine turkey thighs (optional): I buy kosher turkey, already brined, but you can easily brine thighs yourself to add flavor: Fill ziplock bag with 3 cups room temperature water, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon, 6-8 peppercorns. Massage to dissolve salt and sugar. Place thighs in bag, seal and let sit in fridge for about 1-2 hours. Don't brine too long as boneless thighs are not very thick.
- To Make Ahead:
- To prepare ahead: You can vacuum seal (or zipper lock) and refrigerate the thighs for a few days before cooking.
- To cook ahead same day: The sous vide process can be done ahead of time (or just leave the sealed bags in the water an extra 30-60 minutes). Glaze and broil the cooked thighs just before serving.
- To cook it a couple of days ahead, sous vide the turkey, cool it down for 10-15 minutes in a large bowl of ice water, then place bag with the turkey in the fridge. To warm the turkey (retherm it), place in water bath at 140F/60C for 45 minutes to an hour. Then pat dry and sear if desired.
Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 1272mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg