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  • Writer's pictureRobyn

Recipe: Turkey Thighs with Cranberry-Mustard Glaze

Updated: Dec 24, 2020


I’m used to turkey being a once-a-year event. These birds are large, unwieldy, and difficult to get right in the oven. Typically, a whole-roasted turkey seems to end up in only two textures: dry or raw. However, when they’re done right, they can be wonderfully delicious, with crispy skin and juicy, slightly gamey meat. It’s chicken with a personality.

It makes no sense to cook a whole turkey for a family of two, so Thanksgiving is usually the only time my husband and I have roast turkey. However, when I was able to get my hands on a pair of turkey thighs at the supermarket a few weeks ago, I decided it was high-time to experiment with flavor.

This recipe is the close cousin of mix-and-match chicken. The contrast between the sweet cranberry compote and the piquant mustard give the succulent thighs a touch of brightness and tang. 10/10 would make these again.

Please note these thighs are twice the size of chicken thighs – just one could feed two people for dinner!


  1. 2 turkey thighs

  2. Salt, to taste

  3. Pepper, to taste

  4. 1/4 cup cranberry compote or relish

  5. 3 TB spicy brown mustard

  6. 2 TB white vinegar

  7. 2 TSP soy sauce

  8. 1 TSP garlic powder

  9. 1 TSP onion powder

  10. 3 TB chopped walnuts (optional)

  11. A drizzle of olive oil

  12. A splash of red wine


Remove the turkey thighs from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature. (About a half hour.) When they’re ready, liberally salt and pepper them.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat an oven-safe skillet on medium-high and drizzle a bit of olive oil over the surface. When the oil is nearly smoking, place the thighs skin side-down and let them get crispy for about 10 minutes. Splash in a little red wine.

While the thighs sear, combine the cranberry sauce, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, spices, and walnuts (if desired.) When the thighs have browned, turn them over and spread the glaze on the skin. Place the skillet in the oven and roast them for another 40 minutes.

After removing the thighs from the oven, let them rest for about 15 minutes to allow the juices to settled. Enjoy with a crunchy green vegetable!


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