Roasted Turkey Thighs





Introduction: Roasted Turkey Thighs

About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

Roasted turkey thighs are a fantastic alternative to cooking a whole bird because the meat dries out a lot less quickly than turkey breasts. They're perfect for a Thanksgiving for two or even for a small group.

I keep my roasted turkey thighs simple - only sage, butter, salt & pepper. You can really go all out, though!

Two turkey thighs can normally overstuff two folks, or feed four people well if there are lots of sides. :D

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • turkey thighs
  • salted butter - 2-3 tablespoons
  • fresh sage
  • salt & pepper

You'll also want a probe thermometer and a lipped baking sheet - I'm using a 13x9 size. Don't use a deep cake pan - the thighs won't crisp up as nicely.

We'll be roasting the thighs at 350 F.

Step 2: Seasoning and Stuffing

Liberally season the turkey thighs with salt & pepper and rub it all over.

Now, we're going to find a way under the skin. Feel with your fingers around the cut edges of the thighs until you come to an area where you can work your fingers under the skin. Continue to push your hand under the skin, separating it from the muscle underneath. This will create a little pocket!

Add 2-3 leaves of sage and a tablespoon or so or butter under the skin and then press it back into place.

Step 3: Roasting!

If using a probe thermometer, insert the probe into the thickest part of the meat away from the bone. Put the thighs in a 350 F oven.

You want to roast the thighs until they reach a temperature of 160-165 F. This will normally take anywhere from 25-45 minutes, depending on the size. :)

Turkey cooks pretty quick, so the skin might not be as crisp as you want it. If this is the case, pop it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, checking it often.

Once it's cooked through the the skin is crispy, make sure to let it rest for at least five minutes before serving - longer if you can!

For bonus points, you can make the pan juices into a gravy, but I tend to just spoon it over the top of the turkey because it is DELICIOUS



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Disappointing. This needs way more seasoning than salt and pepper!

1. With a bowl add butter or olive oil (extra virgin is the best), then add salt, pepper, 1 chicken cube, garlic, onion and oregano. Now mix them together until you get a uniform solution; you can do this if you put it into the microwave for everything to melt together.

2. Put about 3 slits into the turkey thigh of the side with the skin on. And while the seasoning mixture is still pretty warm pour it over the Turkey thigh making sure you get a lot of the chopped garlic and onions into the slits. Don't forget to add the mixture to the Bottom.

3. The last part is easy but also important. Take a sprig of Rosemary, pull the needles off and sprinkle it all over the turkey thigh. WRAP the TURKEY LEG in FOIL.

4. Bake at 180 degrees (sorry I'm British) for 2 hours.

5. At 1 hr 40 mins unwrap the turkey from the foil to brown and become crispy.

The point here is to infuse the turkey with many flavours, and obtain that gorgous crispy skin, it also cuts that meaty fat rank smell.

Voila !!!!!

5 replies

Great recipe, I've made it twice already. Thanks for sharing :)

I have copied this and MUST try this out!.... who ever said the Brits have bad food was nuts!!....

(and I'm a "180 deg. cooker" also!! the best way for alot of things!!....)

Karen was referring to Celsius. 180 is about 350 fahrenheit.

on my gaaaaaaaw! i totally never thought of that!! i do my oxtails at 180 deg in my slow cooker.... 12 hours, from frozen, with "my" spices, etc. (!!!) celsius, of course, different!!.... gaaaaaaaw!!!! I'm so embarrassed!.....

We love turkey thighs and use them every Thanksgiving to provide extra dark meat. I always bone-out turkey thighs. It's easy to do, you get rid of that big old femur, the potential bone slivers from the joint where it was cut and the big vein next to it. Plus the thigh cooks a little faster.....less mass. I take out the bone, vein and connective tissue at either end, wash it, pat dry with a paper towel, tuck the ends in, pull the skin around it, tie it and I have a nice little turkey thigh roll. Depending on size 4-6 fit nicely in a square baking tin and turkey heaven hour or so later. You can season it however you want and cook it like you do the bone-in thighs, just watch your time.

1 reply

I should add.......turkey thighs aren't just for Thanksgiving....we usually have them once a month.

"Don't use a deep cake pan - the thighs won't crisp up as nicely."

amazing! I never knew this and will have to try this out!... I can't wait to see if this works!.... i do everything like this in my big turkey roaster... I also pour in stock and cover it for awhile to try to moisten it.... then cook uncovered.... I just guess at the times, but 400 deg. then check it once in awhile....

Why does the beginning say "we will be roasting the thighs at 350 degrees". Then later contradict instructing you to put in a 400 degree oven? Confusing

2 replies

My bad! It's been edited. It should be 350 F. :)

I was wondering the same thing!

Made it 5 times now. Fantastic.

This turkey was fantastic! I used unsalted butter and spread a little of it on the outside of the skin, as well and then was pretty generous with the salt and pepper. I used a 350 degree oven and it took 35 minutes to cook two thighs and then I rested for 10 minutes. I made a gravy from the pan juices adding a little water mixed with cornstarch and then added a splash of chicken broth and s & p to taste. The skin was crispy (without having to broil) and the meat was really flavourful and juicy. I'll definitely make this again with turkey and will also try with bone-in chicken breasts and see how that works. Highly recommend this recipe!

Have made it 3 times. Spectacular flavors. 400 degree oven. Best thigh recipe ever. Added garlic powder once, was good but recipe as written is a 10.

Thanks, jessyratfink. Recipe is truly a 10.

Thanks for this great recipe, I bought a turkey leg yesterday and now I know how I'm going to cook it! ^_^

Made it. It was good. I think I didn't add enough seasoning. I didn't have sage leaves so I used sage out of a bottle, but it was very moist and tasty. Good idea about crisping up the skin under the broiler. I probably would add some pepper under the skin next time, maybe a little bit of red pepper as well. Perhaps some a bit of lemon juice couldn't hurt. It was good, just not strong enough flavor as I like. (I probably over season everything for some people.)


I have a turkey thigh in the freezer and some sage in the garden - going to give this a go


I have a turkey thigh in the freezer and some sage in the garden - going to give this a go