Sunday, July 14, 2013

Batali-Style Turkey Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata

One of my favorite Mario Batali recipes is his Chicken Thighs with Snap Peas and Agliata.  I have made this recipe a couple of times, and, each time it produces very tasty chicken thighs that are a hit with guests.  Recently, I decided to make this dish using turkey thighs rather than chicken thighs.

In theory, turkey thighs should work in the same fashion in chicken thighs.  However, there is one difference, 3 pounds of chicken thighs might be a dozen thighs, while 3 pounds of turkey thighs may be just 2 thighs.  In order to make this recipe work for a group of guests, it is necessary to trim the thighs and cut them into "chicken-thigh" sizes.  Cutting the turkey thighs into smaller pieces also allows for more of the thighs to be covered with the garlicky bread crumb mixture, which is definitely a good thing.  The one thing to remember is that, as you cut the thighs, make sure that the thighs are roughly the same size and shape.  This will help ensure that the thighs cook evenly and together.

In addition to the thighs and the snap peas, I decided to serve some grilled corn to complete the dish.  The corn is optional.  I used a basic recipe ... butter, salt and pepper applied liberally to the corn, which is wrapped and then placed on the grill.  It is important to rotate the corn about every five minutes, so as to prevent the corn from being burned.  

Adapted from recipe by Mario Batali and available in Italian Grill, pg. 141
Serves 6
12 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups of fresh bread crumbs
3 pounds of turkey thighs, deboned, cut into chicken thigh-sized pieces
3 shallots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste
1 pound snap peas, blanched in boiling water until
     bright green, chilled in an ice bath and drained
Olio Piccante for drizzling
4 ears of corn, shucked
1 stick of butter, melted

1.  Prepare the bread crumb mixture.  Combine the garlic, 1/2 cup of the oil, the anchovies, parsley and bread crumbs in a food processor and zap until smooth. 

2.  Prepare the chicken thighs and the corn.  Put the turkey thighs in a large bowl and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat well.  Arrange in a single layer on a platter and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Prepare the corn by basting the corn on all sides with the melted butter.  Liberally salt and pepper the corn and wrap in foil.

3.  Grill the chicken.   Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect grilling.  Place the turkey thighs skinned side up on the cooler part of the grill, cover the grill, and grill, turning once until the turkey is cooked through, about fifteen minutes per side.  After the turkey is flipped, add the corn to the grill and rotate the corn by ninety degrees every four to five minutes.

4.  Finish the dish.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 10 to 12 inch saute pan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and anchovy paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the snap peas and cook, stirring, just until heated through.  Transfer the snap peas to a platter and set aside.  

5.  Plate the dish.  Arrange the thighs on top of the snap peas, add an ear of corn, and serve with a drizzle of olio piccante.


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