Turkey Thighs stuffed with smoked oyster cornbread dressing and roasted to perfection in an air fryer. They are great if you don’t want a breast or a whole turkey.
When you don’t want to serve a whole turkey, and you don’t want or like the breast of turkey, these thighs are a perfect choice. They are flattened, stuffed with smoked oyster cornbread stuffing, and roasted in an air fryer.
Smoked Oyster Cornbread Stuffing
This recipe borrows a little bit from my traditional Oyster Cornbread Dressing that my grandmother used to make.
This time, it’s a little fancier with smoked oysters. Since oysters are another seafood that should only be eaten in months with an R in them, you might now always be able to get fresh oysters. Well, the smoked, canned variety work just as nicely. Oysters don’t give a fishy flavor to the dressing, just a little extra umami. I prefer Crown Prince Smoked Oysters, usually available at your local supermarket.
You might want to buy a few cans of these oysters to make Smoked Oyster Stew as a starter for your meal. Of course, you could snag a couple for your cook’s treat, too.
Prepping the Turkey Thighs
Turkey thighs have all kinds of nooks and crannies where the bone used to be. They are also pretty thick. The best way to ensure even cooking is to flatten it. I use a meat hammer, but you could use a heavy cast-iron skillet or any heavy pot if you don’t have one. Please do not use a regular hammer because it is bound to make holes no matter how careful you are. Instead, put the turkey down on the counter, skin side down, then cover the flesh with plastic wrap and start pounding them until they are pretty much evenly high.
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- 2 Turkey thighs, boned
~~ -- Stuffing -- ~~
~~ -- Injection -- ~~
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- ¼ cup White wine
Prepare the Thighs
- Put the Turkey thighs skin-side down on a cutting board. Cover them with plastic.
- Pound the thighs with a mallet.
- Pound them until they are about an even height. Set them aside.
Prepare the dressing
- Mise en place for the stuffing
- Melt the stick of butter in a large saute pan. Add the onions, bell pepper, and celery and saute until the onion is translucent and the celery has softened.
- Put the chicken base, cayenne, and poultry seasoning in a heat-proof measuring cup. Boil the water and add it to the chicken base. Stir it completely. Set it aside.
- Put the stuffing mix into the stand mixer add the chicken base texture, the vegetables, and the smoked oysters. Mix to combine.
Make the injection
- Melt the butter. Put the butter in the measuring cup. Add the herbs de Provence and the white wine. Set it aside.
Make the rub
- Mix butter and poultry seasoning together set it aside.
Stuff the thighs
- Lay the thigh skin-side down. Put about a quarter of a cup of stuffing in each thigh. Put the rest of the stuffing in a baking dish to cook separately. Pull the sides of the thighs up to cover the filling, then turn them over, skin-side up in the glass pan.
- Fill the injection needle. Stab the thigh and inject the liquid. Do this repeatedly until you run out of injection.
- Using your hands, put the rub on the thighs and rub it in nicely.
- Sprinkle them with their Northwoods Seasoning.
- Put them in the air fryer at 380°F / 193°C for 30 minutes or until they reach 160°F / 71°C degrees. Remove them from the air fryer and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving.