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Curried Cranberry-Orange Turkey Thighs

Sometimes a Holiday meal should be uncomplicated. There’s enough stress out there for anyone, right? Why should you also be expected to put out expensive, fussy meals throughout the season on a regular basis? The answer is; you shouldn’t.

Your holiday meals don’t have to be complicated to be fabulous. This dish is a recreation of one we made several years ago. As I stated at the time, I thought that a few additions would be nice. The attempt was an utter success and something that I’m sure that your family and friends will thoroughly enjoy at any Holiday meal.

The nice part? It only takes 6 ingredients and cooks in about an hour; even less if you use leftover turkey.  This dish packs all the flavors of the Holiday table into one single, cohesive plate, freeing you from the hassle of a monumental undertaking, but still satisfying both the cook and guests.

Some might roll their eyes at the mention of canned cranberry sauce in the recipe, but if you want to make fresh cranberry sauce or have some leftover homemade cranberry sauce hanging out, feel free to use it! It only makes the recipe better.  The same is true of the oranges. If you have fresh Clementines or other oranges, go right ahead and use them, just be sure to add a little orange juice and perhaps a tablespoon of sugar to the mix before you bake it.

This dish can be as simple or as complex as you’d like to make it. It’s about saving you time during a hectic time of the year. It was a runaway hit with my family and I’m sure it will be with yours.

What’s your favorite easy to make holiday meal?  Is it leftovers after the fact or a quick and easy appetizer for Holiday parties? A slow cooked all-in-one crock pot meal or a stir fry? Let us know in the comments. you’ll help us help everyone have a simpler Holiday season.

Curried Cranberry-Orange Turkey Thighs
Yield: 4 servings

Curried Cranberry-Orange Turkey Thighs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 4 turkey thighs (Bone in and skin on for best flavor, boneless and tied for best presentation.)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • For Leftover Turkey
  • 4 equally sized portions of leftover Turkey. (Brest steaks work well.)
  • For Either Method
  • 2 large cans whole berry cranberry sauce (or 3 1/2 cups leftover cranberry sauce.)
  • 2 large (14 or 14.5 oz) cans mandarin oranges, with juices (or 3 to 4 oranges, segmented and 8 oz. orange juice.
  • Additional salt, pepper, curry powder and nutmeg to taste


    For Fresh Turkey

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix curry powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
    2. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub each thigh liberally with seasoning mixture and place skin-side up in a shallow roasting dish. Pour cranberry sauce and oranges over and around turkey. (Be sloppy, it's OK!)
    3. Bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 160 degrees (approximately 55 to 65 minutes.) Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes.

    For Leftover Turkey

    1. Place turkey in an oven proof dish just large enough to comfortably hold all 4 portions. Cover with cranberry sauce and oranges. Sprinkle with curry powder, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.
    2. Bake at 350 degrees until sauce is bubbly
    3. Suggestion:
    4. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or stuffing.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:


    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1043Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 465mgSodium: 895mgCarbohydrates: 76gFiber: 7gSugar: 57gProtein: 103g

    What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:

    The only two things I might add to this would be a hint of cloves and some orange zest as a garnish. Otherwise, it’s fabulous.

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