These Cajun Roasted Turkey Thighs have the most crispiest golden brown skin. They're moist and delicious and are a perfect alternative to making a whole turkey.
Turkey thighs are considered dark meat which means that they have a higher fat content compared to white meat. As a result, they're more flavorful and juicy compared to white meat which tends to dry out easily and lack flavor if not seasoned properly.
When it comes to cooking turkey even around the holidays, which camp are you in... whole turkey or turkey parts? Personally, when cooking for a smaller crowd, I prefer turkey parts in particular wings and thighs. In my opinion, they're the tastiest and most flavorful part of the turkey. I'd love to hear, in the comments section below. Speaking of turkey parts, have you tried Braised Turkey Necks, if not they are a must try too.
Why this recipe works
If you're cooking for a small crowd, yourself, significant other or partner, cooking turkey parts such as just the breast, wings, legs or thighs are ideal if... Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without turkey.
The advantages of cooking turkey parts is that it definitely cuts back on time, alleviates the stress, allows you more time to relax, enjoy, and engage in conversation, and more time to cook your favorite side dishes if that's what you enjoy most.
- If Cajun seasoning isn't your thing, feel free to use your favorite seasonings that pair well together. However, it's a MUST that you use kosher salt unless you're following a low to no sodium diet for health reasons.
- It's also important to use butter in this recipe as it helps to create the most flavorful pan juices. If you tend to shy away from butter keep in mind that only a small amount is used.
- Also, if you follow a diary-free diet, opt for ghee instead of butter. It will give you the same great flavor.
How to cook turkey thighs
- Wash and pat dry turkey thighs with paper towels and generously rub softened butter over entire surface of each thigh.
- Season each thigh liberally with Cajun seasoning, kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- Place the thighs in a 350 degree preheated oven to roast.
- Baste the thighs with the pan juices a couple of times during the cooking process for more juiciness.
- Remove the thighs from the oven, spoon over the pan juices and serve with your favorite sides.
When roasting turkey thighs at 350 degrees, they should cook for 1 hr and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Due to the fact that oven temperatures vary, you may need to cook them up to 2 hours. If you have a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature by inserting it into the thickest part of the thigh and if it reads 180 degrees the thighs are done.
You sure can. Place the cooked turkey thighs in a freezer-safe container with an airtight lid or freezer ziploc bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- It's important that the thighs are dried as much as possible before adding the softened butter.
- You can allow the butter to soften ahead of time by placing it on the counter top for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
- You can soften butter quickly by placing it in the microwave for 5 second increments (watch closely as you do not want the butter to melt and become liquidy).
- Placing the thighs on top of the bed of sliced onions before roasting, adds incredible flavor to the pan juices.
- Please baste the turkey thighs throughout the cooking process (every 30 - 40 minutes) and when they're done, spoon the pan juices over the top of each thigh.
- If you have fresh herbs on hand, chopped them up and combine with your softened butter to create a butter-herb blend and rub over the entire surface of each turkey thigh before adding the seasonings.
- You can use a baking sheet with rimmed edges or a baking dish so the pan juices will not escape; however, do not use one that is too large as you do not want the pan juices to be able to spread too much.
Did you make this recipe
If so, let me know how it went. Leave a star rating within the recipe card down below and/or TAG @cookingwithbliss on Instagram. I can't wait to see how it turned out.
Cajun Oven Roasted Turkey Thighs
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 4 lbs turkey thighs (bone-in) (decide based on the number of people you'll be serving)
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened )
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 teaspoon Cajun spice blend
- t teaspoon black pepper
- ½ small onion (sliced)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Meanwhile soften butter. Make a batch of homemade Cajun spice blend or use your favorite store brand. You'll also need 4 medium sized slices of onion (not 4 onions). Set aside
- Wash turkey thighs and pat dry with paper towels making sure they are completely dry.
- Divide soften butter and rub over entire surface of each turkey thigh. Season each side of each thigh generously with kosher salt, the Cajun spice blend, and black pepper.
- Add sliced onions in skillet then lay turkey thighs on top of bed of onions.
- Place thighs in the oven to roast for 1hr and 30 minutes to 1hr and 45 minutes. Oven temperatures may vary which can result in your thighs roasting upward to 2 hours. Baste thighs with pan juices every 30 to 40 minutes during cooking process.
- You can check for done-ness by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the thermometers reads 180 degrees, they are done. You can also check by gently pressing the thighs with your fingers after recommended cooking time. If the juices run clear, the thighs are most likely done.
- It's important that the thighs are dried as much as possible before adding the softened butter
- You can allow the butter to soften ahead of time by placing it on the counter top for at least 20 to 30 minutes
- You can soften butter quickly by placing it in the microwave for 5 second increments (watch closely as you do not wanted the butter to melt and become liquidy)
- Placing the thighs on top of the bed of sliced onions before roasting, adds incredible flavor to the pan juices
- Please baste the turkey thighs throughout the cooking process (every 30 - 40 minutes) and when they're done, spoon the pan juices over the top of each thigh
- If you have fresh herbs on hand, chopped them up and combine with your softened butter to create a butter- herb blend and rub the butter-herb blend over the entire surface of turkey thighs before adding kosher salt, the Cajun spice blend and black pepper.