Sous Vide Turkey Thighs with Jamaican Jerk Paste Recipe
Often times around Thanksgiving there are great deals to be had on whole turkeys as well as turkey thighs and breasts. However, you can only eat so much roasted turkey with gravy so I like to try different recipes with them.
Here I used some turkey thighs and combined it with the Jamaican jerk paste from our sous vide book. I use sous vide turkey thighs since they are a great way to have moist, juicy turkey without having to keep an eye on them. I can also sous vide them while I'm working and they're ready when I get home and I just have to quickly sear them and make any sides.
Sous vide turkey thighs are very easy to make. I typically season them then seal and cook for several hours at 148°F (64.4°C). You can also cook them at a higher temperature.
Once the sous vide turkey thighs are done cooking you dry them off and sear them in a hot pan, on a grill, or even under the broiler of your oven. They are great with various sides, and for this time I went with corn on the cob and sauteed green beans.
The Jamaican jerk paste can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for a week or two, or even freeze it for later use. To save even more time you can get a jar of pre-made jerk seasoning which comes in many heats and many different brands. You can use any of those on these sous vide turkey thighs with great results.
This recipe is adapted from our book, Sous Vide: Help for the Busy Cook: Harness the Power of Sous Vide to Create Great Meals Around Your Busy Schedule which is filled with fast and flavorful meals that even the busiest cook can make during the week!
Sous vide turkey thighs stand up great to this traditional Jamaican jerk flavoring but it can also be used on pork shoulder or chicken thighs and breasts. A side of rice and beans or mashed plantains is a great complement to this dish.
To save even more time during the week you can find some good jerk pastes in the grocery store that will save you the time of preparing your own. You can just add them to the sous vide turkey thighs before sealing them.
Note: Usually turkey thighs are best when cooked for 4 to 8 hours but during the week you can get away with cooking them for up to 12 hours with just a minimal loss in moisture.
Ingredients for Sous Vide Turkey Thighs with Jamaican Jerk Paste
- 2 to 3 pounds turkey thighs
- 3 to 10 habanero or Scotch bonnet chilies, to taste, stemmed and cut in half
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
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Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Turkey Thighs with Jamaican Jerk Paste
First make the jerk paste. Add all of the dry ingredients to a food processor and process to a coarse paste. Add the remaining liquid ingredients and process until the paste becomes spreadable.
Smear the turkey thighs all over with the jerk paste. Add the thighs to the sous vide pouches and seal.
At this point you can store the pouch in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, freeze it for up to 6 months, or cook it right away.
At least 3 to 13 hours before serving
On the morning of the day you want to eat, preheat your sous vide water bath to 148°F (64.4°C). Place the pouch in the water bath for 2 to 12 hours.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Preheat a pan or grill to high heat.
Take the sous vide turkey thighs out of the sous vide pouches and pat dry. Cook them at high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and serve.
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This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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