Anyone who’s cooked a Thanksgiving turkey has likely encountered the mysterious phrase “the thickest part of the thigh.” As in “to tell when your turkey’s done, insert an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.” Am I the only one who’s ever read that and said “huh?”
Frankly, to me, it all looks pretty thick. That phrase just doesn’t make sense. And over the years, I’ve suffered some undercooked birds because of it. Only after going to culinary school and learning how to cut down a turkey into parts, when I could see a turkey thigh isolated on my carving board, did I really understand this whole “thickest part” business. Of course, by the time your turkey’s in pieces on the carving board, it’s too late to take the temperature.
Luckily, I’ve got some resources that make it a lot clearer.
This video shows you exactly where to stick that thermometer, and what temperature you need to look for.
And this blog from David Leite shares a neat tip for finding that thickest part: sort of an enlightened hunt-and-peck method.
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