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Easy Roasted Turkey Parts: Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long


I love roasted turkey, and have always thought it was a shame that most of us eat it just for Thanksgiving. Earlier this year, I stumbled on a recipe using turkey parts instead of a whole bird. The turkey tasted like it was roasted all day, but without all of the work.

Since this recipe uses turkey parts instead of a full bird, it’s the perfect solution if you want Thanksgiving turkey but are cooking for a small family. I hope this recipe will also encourage you to enjoy turkey all year long.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on the links for products you can purchase and buy anything from that retailer, I will receive a small commission. 

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future Expat

I think the reason that most of us only eat Thanksgiving style roasted turkey once or twice a year is because it involves buying a 10-20 lb turkey and then spending all day cooking.

Unless you have a huge crowd coming over, it’s expensive and a lot of work to roast a turkey…and you end up with a huge amount of food. This recipe uses turkey parts, so it works whether you are cooking for just yourself, cooking for 2 or for a small family.

I followed the recipe that I found on My Sweet Mission except I used turkey thighs instead of a turkey breast the first time I made it. The second time I used this recipe, I added some fresh parsley to the top. I like it both ways so feel free to add whatever herbs you like on top, or stick to salt & pepper and keep it simple.

I personally like the dark meat better than white breast meat, so I always use thighs. Not only is the dark meat a lot moister, but it is cheaper too. But use whatever you prefer.

I also tweaked the preparation instructions and cooking times based on best practices I found while researching cooking turkey.

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts:

Ingredients:

2 turkey thighs or 1 turkey breast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried herbs or 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future ExpatStart by patting them dry your turkey parts with a paper towel. Split the butter between your parts, using about 1/2 tbsp of butter for each thigh or a 1 tbsp for a larger breast.

Rub the butter across the skin of the turkey, and then tuck the extra butter under the skin.

Next drizzle the oil over the turkey, using your hands to smear it around so that the entire skin is covered.

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future ExpatSprinkle with salt and pepper and then place on a roasting rack (affiliate link) in a 9×13 metal baking pan (or a larger pan if you are making more parts). If you are using herbs, add them at this point too.

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future ExpatMake sure you place the chicken parts skin side up.

Place the pan in an oven preheated to 350 degrees.

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future Expat Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future ExpatCook the turkey until your meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Be sure to put the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut the turkey in the thickest section and if the juices are clear, it’s done. If the juices are pink, put it back in the oven.

According to the Perdue Turkey website, bone-in breasts should take about 15-20 minutes per lb (1.25 – 1.75 hours) and thighs should cook for 1 hour 10 minutes.

See Perdue website for turkey cooking times based on which parts you are using and cooking method…

That said, it’s really a good idea to spend the money on a meat thermometer. You can get one here (affiliate link) or at just about any store with kitchen utensils.

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future Expat Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future Expat

If you cook your turkey parts without any added herbs, you’ll end up with turkey like this. Crispy skin and juicy meat.

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts - Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long | Future ExpatHere is the finished turkey when I added some fresh parsley. You could easily use dried herbs, fresh ones or just stick with the salt and pepper.

Printable recipe card below…click on the + sign for nutrition information for this chicken recipe.

I love Pinterest and Facebook shares!

Easy side dishes to go with your turkey parts…

Healthy Recipe: Moist Pumpkin Cornbread (Future Expat)Herbed Corn for a Crowd | Future Expat Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts | Future Expat

Easy Roasted Turkey Parts: Thanksgiving Dinner All Year Long

From Future Expat | Main Dishes

Make Thanksgiving style turkey without all of the work by using turkey parts. For step by step directions with pictures, visit: http://futureexpat.com/2014/11/roasted-turkey-parts

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High cal Calories 1289kcal

High fat Total Fat 67g

High sat-fat Saturated Fat 21g

High chol Cholesterol 595mg

High sodium Sodium 1818mg

Low carbs Total Carbohydrate 1g

Serving size 834g Calories from fat 606kcal Fiber 0g Protein 160g Sugar 0g
2 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 turkey thighs or 1 turkey breast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs or 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pat turkey parts dry with paper towel.
  3. Rub butter across the skin of the turkey, then put the excess butter under the skin.
  4. Rub oil across the skin, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
  5. Place turkey skin side up on roasting rack in a 9×14 metal baking pan.
  6. Bake thighs for 1 hour 10 minutes and breasts for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature on a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting or serving.


3 Responses

  1. perfect for the single gal like me 😀

  2. Karen, for Thanksgiving with just my husband and I I bought a tiny, 2 pound ham and simmered it on the stove for 30 minutes to serve. It’s good to know that there is also a way to make turkey in little portions. We usually go visit family for the holidays, but this year we moved and so we just couldn’t travel too.

  3. Bea says:

    I made this using turkey drumsticks and used dried thyme and ground sage and it turned out delicious. I’m glad I tried this, even picky hubby enjoyed it 😉

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