An easy roasted turkey thighs recipe brined overnight to give it extra juiciness; rubbed with a coffee rub, roasted in the oven and glazed with honey-butter.
Thank you to Turkey Farmers of Canada for supporting this Coffee Rubbed Roasted Turkey Thighs recipe post. I always appreciate and am thankful for the support, which helps keep this little blog running! All opinions expressed, recipes and photos are my own.
When it comes to easy weekday dinners, I love using turkey because it’s easy to work with and always enough for leftovers the next day – cook once, enjoy twice!
Alternatively, this roasted turkey thighs recipe is also quite versatile and works amazingly well for small dinner parties and gatherings as well! Turkey thighs are very easy to work with since they are already individually portioned out per guest, so there’s no turkey carving involve which means more time spent with friends and family and less time spent in the kitchen.
For this coffee rub roasted turkey thighs recipe, I used a coffee rub with a touch of curry to give the turkey a bit of an earthy, spiced flavour. Additionally, I also glazed the top of the turkey during the last half of the cooking with honey butter to give it a touch of buttery sweetness. Depending on how much you enjoy the sweet and savoury combination, you can even brush on 1/2 teaspoon of honey at the very end before serving to enhance the sweetness a bit more.
INGREDIENTS FOR COFFEE RUB ROASTED TURKEY THIGHS
- Turkey Thighs – For this recipe, I used bone-in turkey thighs but you can also use turkey drums and turkey breast for it as well but you will need to adjust the cooking times for it.
- Butter (unsalted) – For the honey butter glaze, I used unsalted butter. The soy sauce and the brine will provide enough saltiness for this dish.
- Honey – I like to use honey for the honey butter glaze because it is usually what I have on hand, but maple syrup will also work as well if you prefer to use that.
- Soy Sauce – I use light or low sodium soy sauce for this recipe.
COFFEE RUB INGREDIENTS
- Brown Sugar – I used light brown sugar for this recipe.
- Ground Coffee – I used a medium roast ground coffee for this recipe because I find the dark roast can sometimes turn out too bitter or too strong, but if you love coffee you can definitely try a darker roast, just be prepared for some bitter undertones. I also like to use medium ground coffee – the fine ground coffees tend to stick too well to the turkey, which doesn’t give the other spices a chance to stick to the turkey evenly. Alternatively, coarse ground coffee can be jarring when you are enjoying the turkey you will be biting down on some pretty large coffee bits.
- Garlic Powder – For this recipe, use garlic powder, and not garlic salt.
- Onion Powder – Any standard onion powder will work
- Paprika – I like to use smoked paprika for this recipe, but you can definitely use any type of paprika you like (the standard one, or Hungarian – which is slightly sweeter)
- Ground Cumin – I like to use ground cumin for this spice rub.
- Yellow Curry Powder – I like to use Madras curry powder for this recipe, but you can switch this up with your favourite curry powder.
- Cayenne Pepper (optional) – Cayenne pepper is optional if you enjoy a bit of spicy heat in your dishes.
- Salt – Any type of salt works for the brine.
- Bay Leaves – I use standard bay leaves
- Garlic – After you peel the garlic, you can lightly crush or roughly chop it before adding it to the brine. I avoid finely chopping the garlic so that it can be easily removed from the brine and turkey after it has brined.
PREPARING THE TURKEY FOR THE OVEN
Before you start adding the spice rub onto the turkey, it is important to pat the turkey dry with paper towels after it comes out of the brine. If there is excess brine sitting on the turkey while you are oven roasting it, it cooks into the turkey and makes it very salty.
Once the turkey has been pat dried with paper towels, I like to gently sprinkle the rub onto the turkey, and rub it into the meat and any leftover spice I lightly sprinkle it on any bare spots. It’s completely optional to rub it into the turkey and if you prefer not to get your hands messy, you can just sprinkle it on to the turkey before it goes in the oven.
HOW TO SERVE THIS OVEN ROASTED COFFEE RUB TURKEY
- Save the juices and the melted butter on the bottom of the pan, I like to drizzle that over the turkey as a light sauce.
- I find this goes really well with finely chopped chives. If you can’t find chives, you can finely chop some green onions and sprinkle it on top as well.
- I like to serve this with roasted potatoes (like our Honey Miso Garlic Roasted Potatoes), stir-fried garlicky green beans or plain white rice with some bok choy.
DID YOU MAKE THIS COFFEE RUB TURKEY RECIPE?
If you made this Coffee Rub Turkey Thighs recipe, I want to see! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Coffee Rub Turkey Thighs
- 2 turkey thighs
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 8 cups water
- 3-4 large bay leaves
- 4-5 cloves garlic (lightly crushed, or roughly chopped)
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coffee (medium ground *see notes)
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne (optional, if you like it spicy)
Honey Butter Glaze
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
Brine The Turkey
- In a large bowl, mix together the salt and water until the salt has dissolved
- Add in bay leaves
- Peel and gently crush (or roughly chop) the garlic and put it in the brine
- Add the turkey into the brine
- Brine overnight
Make the Coffee Rub
- Combine all the ingredients in the 'Coffee Rub' section of the ingredients and set aside.
Make the Honey Butter Glaze
- Melt the butter in a small pot or microwave. (If you use a microwave, heat it up in increments of 15 seconds so that it doesn't splatter everywhere)
- Once the butter has melted or is soft, mix in the honey and soy sauce and set aside.
Prepare the Turkey for Oven Roasting
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Remove the turkey thighs from the brine and pat it down with paper towels to remove the excess moisture and brine.
- Sprinkle the coffee rub over the top and bottoms of the turkey thigh and place the turkey in an oven-proof roasting pan. You can choose to rub the coffee rub into the turkey or sprinkle it evenly over the turkey in a thin layer.
- Once the oven has reached 350F, add the turkey in and set a timer for 40 minutes
- Once 40 minutes have passed and the timer is up, use a brush and dab the honey butter glaze over the turkey thighs. If the butter has separated, use a fork to mix everything together until it is a paste again - it doesn't need to be smooth.
- Set the timer for 15 minutes and put the turkey thighs back in the oven to roast
- Once 15 minutes has passed, and the timer is up, dab the turkey thighs again with the remainder of the glaze
- Set the timer for 15 minutes and put the turkey back in the oven to roast.
- Once the timer is up, the turkey is done! It should have baked in the oven for a total of 70 minutes (1 hour and 10 minutes), and the internal temperature of the turkey should be at least 165degrees.
- (Optional) If you like sweet and savoury dishes, try brushing on a 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of honey on top of the turkey after you have removed it from the oven!
- Save the drippings and serve it with the turkey, and sprinkle it with some chives! Enjoy!
- Do not use coffee grinds that have already been used for coffee, it will not have any flavour. Use only freshly ground or pre-ground coffee grounds, it has a lot more flavour which will make a better tasting turkey.
- I like using medium or light roast coffee, in medium coarse texture. I find the medium course sticks to the turkey better and dark roast coffee can be too bitter for rubs.
- For this recipe, I used bone-in turkey thighs but you can also use turkey drums and turkey breast for it as well but you will need to adjust the cooking times for it.