Monday, March 9, 2015

Chipotle-Garlic Roasted Turkey Thighs with Roasted Potatoes and Turkey Crackling

It has been a while since I tried to create my own recipes, or a recipe that I would deem worthy of being published on this blog. To be sure, I am not a professional chef.  I cannot expect that I will create dishes at a level of many of the chefs that I follow through social media.   That is not really the objective of this blog.  Instead, this blog is about my journey through food.  It is about learning new things about ingredients, cooking techniques, cuisines and much, much more.  

Yet, there are times when I return to things I know and love.  I know how to roast a turkey thigh.  I love the combination of Mexican inspired ingredients, such as chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, and adobo, in a rub.   That is how this recipe for Chipotle-Garlic Roasted Turkey Thighs developed.  I purchased a couple of bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs and returned home to rifle through my spice drawer to get together all of ingredients for the rub.   

Once I gathered all of the ingredients, I stopped and looked at the thighs, focusing upon the skin.  I could prepare these thighs with the skin, hoping that the skin would crisp up by the time the thighs themselves were cooked.  That had not always happened in the past.  Or, I should say, the skin has not always been as crisp as I would have liked it.    I was halted, at least for the moment.  The question was what to do with the skin.

The answer came in one word.  Crackling.  I have passed bags of pork crackling on the shelves of my local grocery store.  I thought to myself, "why can't I make turkey crackling."  Apparently, that thought had crossed the minds of many others.  There are many different recipes for turkey crackling.  However, they all say the same thing -- stretch the skin out on a non-stick pan or baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake until brown and crispy at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven.

As one question was answered, another arose.  What to do with the crackling?  One obvious answer was simply to eat it.  I decided that I would break it up and add it to the potatoes that would be roasted with the turkey thighs.   Once that decision was made, the recipe was set and the cooking commenced ....

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 2-3

2 turkey thighs, with skin and bones
2-3 large garlic cloves, diced finely
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon toasted, granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon adobo powder
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of red skinned potatoes
1 onion, peeled and quartered

1.  Make crackling.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove turkey skin from thighs.  Spread skin on baking sheet and salt generously.  Bake the skin for 30 minutes until brown and crispy.  Remove from the oven and place turkey skin on a plate.  Set aside.

2.  Prepare marinade.  De-bone thighs.  Combine garlic, chipotle powder, granulated onion, Kosher salt, dried oregano and adobo powder.  Apply marinade to turkey thighs.  Place thighs in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

3.  Boil the potatoes.   Clean the potatoes. Slice the potatoes in half.  Bring a pot of water to boiling.  Add the potatoes and boil until almost tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside for the moment.

4.  Roast the turkey thighs.  Increase the temperature of the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the turkey thighs in a roasting pan with the onions and potatoes.  Roast for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375 degrees.  Continue roasting until the temperature of the turkey is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 35 to 40 minutes.   

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