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Monday, January 16, 2012

Turkey Thighs in Herbed Tomato Sauce

In November I posted a recipe for polenta. Back then, I said that the polenta is only part of the recipe. The main recipe is turkey thighs cooked in a tomato sauce flavored with dried porcini mushrooms and dried herbs. The porcini is a key element so, though it's an expensive ingredient, don't leave it out. Turkey thighs have a rich, gamey flavor that I love and they go nicely with the woodsy porcini. This is a hearty dish, particularly when you serve it over some stick-to-your-ribs polenta.

Turkey Thighs in Herbed Tomato Sauce
from Rick Rodgers' The Turkey Cookbook
(serves 4)

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
½ cup boiling water
2 tbl olive oil
2 turkey thighs (about 2 lbs of turkey)
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 16 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved
½ cup dry red wine, such as a Chianti or Sangiovese
¾ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

In a small bowl, pour boiling water over dried porcini. Let stand for 30 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Lift out mushrooms, reserving water. Chop mushrooms coarsely. Strain the water through a double layer of cheesecloth and reserve water.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. Season turkey thighs with salt and pepper. Add thighs to pan and cook over medium-high heat, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer thighs to a plate. Add onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until onions are softened, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and juices, chopped mushrooms, reserved mushroom soaking liquid, red wine, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and return thighs and any juice accumulated on the plate to the saute pan. Reduce the heat to low - barely a simmer and cover. Stir occasionally and cook for about 1 1/2 hours until thighs are tender. Transfer thighs to a cutting boards and cut meat from bone, cutting it into 1" pieces. Discard bones (though as the cook it is your right to suck any remaining meat off them) and return turkey meat to the sauce.

Serve over polenta or pasta (I suggest penne), garnished with chopped parsley.

Link to PDF of Turkey Thighs in Herbed Tomato Sauce