Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Thighs with Salsa Verde

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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 105 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12

When husband-and-wife team Chris Lanier and Dana McClure, co-owners of Ravenwood, a pop-up farm shop and dinner series housed in a renovated 19th-century barn in Hudson Valley, New York, hosted a harvest-themed dinner with Williams Sonoma, Lanier dreamed up this showstopping main course. Turkey thighs are wrapped in bacon and served with a salsa verde full of fresh herbs for the moistest, most flavorful turkey ever. Here we cook the turkey in a smoker for maximum flavor, but you could also cook the thighs in the oven at the same temperature if you like. Don't forget to ask your butcher to debone the turkey thighs for you.

Ingredients:

For the salsa verde:

  • 2 cups (3 oz./90 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup (3 oz./90 g) capers, drained and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil as needed
  • Red wine vinegar as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


For the turkey thighs:

  • 8 turkey thighs, deboned (each about 12 oz./375 g)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 24 bacon slices, or as needed

Directions:

To make the salsa verde, in a bowl, stir together the parsley, sage, rosemary, capers, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add enough olive oil to cover the herbs and set aside.

Cut 24 pieces of kitchen twine, each about 12 inches (30 cm) long.

To prepare the turkey, season the thighs all over with salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly with the thyme. Working with 1 of the thighs at time, arrange 3 bacon slices on top of the thigh, overlapping them as if they were shingles. Tuck the ends of the slices under the thigh to make a neat package. (If your turkey thighs are larger or smaller, you may need fewer or more slices of bacon.) Using 3 pieces of twine, gently tie the bacon onto the thigh, using 1 piece of string for each strip of bacon. Repeat to wrap the remaining turkey thighs. Wrap each of the thighs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook the turkey, preheat a smoker to 350°F (180°C).

Place the turkey thighs, seam side down, on the smoker rack and cook, maintaining the smoker temperature at around 350°F (180°C), until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (74°C), 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

While the turkey rests, stir red wine vinegar into the herb mixture to taste and season with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if necessary so you can drizzle the mixture from a spoon.

Remove the string from the turkey and cut crosswise into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Arrange the slices on a platter, spoon some of the salsa verde on top and serve with the remaining salsa verde alongside. Serves 10 to 12.

Recipe courtesy of Chris Lanier, co-founder and chef of Ravenwood, Kerhonkson, NY

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