If you’re looking for last-minute Thanksgiving recipes, look no further than this recipe for Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Thighs with Swiss Chard and Polenta!
Although we love to go all-out for the holiday whenever we can, we’ve decided to keep things simple this year as we’re only cooking for a small gathering. Instead of roasting turkey for several hours and serving it alongside an abundance of side dishes, we’re packing our menu with flavor, technique, and high quality ingredients instead!
The star of our Thanksgiving menu is the turkey thighs – brined in advance, the thighs are pan-fried in French butter, which add an amazing depth of flavor and also allow the turkey to brown beautifully before being roasted in the oven and basted with all of the pan’s buttery juices. And, the great thing about roasting thighs over a whole turkey is that these steps come together in just 25 minutes!
The polenta and swiss chard cook up even more quickly, and also as deliciously, because we infuse them with plenty of French butter. Not only does it allow for a richer and creamier flavor than most butters, but as a dietitian, I love knowing that I’m adding additional calcium and vitamin D to the dish as well!
Last but not least, the cranberry glaze cooks up in no time and pairs so well with all of these Thanksgiving flavors.
I hope you get a chance to cook it up this week, and when you do, let me know what you think!
To find more about the benefits of cooking with European butter, feel free to head over tasteeurope.com! You can use the store locator to find out where you can find your favorite butter near you.
Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Thighs with Swiss Chard and Polenta
Time: 1 Hour
½ cup granulated sugar
3 lbs bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs (4 medium thighs)
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
12 oz fresh cranberries
Zest of 1 orange
1 stick cinnamon
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp French butter, divided
¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 bunches Swiss chard, stemmed, roughly chopped
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup polenta
¼ cup grana padano or parmesan cheese, grated
Prepare a wet brine by bringing six cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in ¾ cup of kosher salt and ½ cup sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and add 4 cups of cold water and a pint of ice cubes.
Add the turkey thighs to a large bowl and pour over brine. Transfer thighs to refrigerator and let brine for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse out the saucepan used for the brine and return to stove. Bring balsamic vinegar, cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, light brown sugar, rosemary, ¼ cup water, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Set cranberries aside and allow to cool.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp French butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in chard with 1 tbsp water and cook, stirring, until chard is tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate and keep warm. Remove thighs from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Wipe skillet clean with paper towels once cooled and heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey thighs skin-side down. Set a heavy pan over the thighs and cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp. Flip the thighs over on the other side, adding 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp French butter. Spoon accumulated juices over the turkey and cook until browned on the opposite side, about 2 minutes. Transfer thighs to a baking sheet, pouring over the buttery juices.
Roast thighs for 14-16 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Transfer thighs to a platter, pouring over juices and covering with aluminum foil. Allow thighs to rest for 5 minutes and keep warm.
While turkey roasts, prepare polenta by whisking 1 cup of water, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 cup polenta in a small bowl. Bring 3 cups of water and ½ tsp salt to a boil. Stir in polenta, cover, reducing heat and simmering for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of French butter and grated cheese until melted.
Spoon polenta onto plates and top with chard. Serve turkey thighs over polenta and chard and drizzle with the cranberry glaze.
If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for Thanksgiving, Leftovers, and Roasted Turkey Soup with Potato-Parsnip Dumplings, Thanksgiving Skillet Pizza, and Rabbit Cacciatore!