Turkey has become one of the most popular meats around thanks largely to its versatility as an ingredient.
Whether you’re looking to add it into your favorite sandwiches or bake it up on Thanksgiving, there’s almost no end to what you can do with this meaty bird.
With all these options comes the question of how to prepare it.
Turkey chops are a great choice because they’re relatively small pieces of meat that still have plenty of flavor.
They also don’t need much time to cook through so they work perfectly alongside other main courses like mashed potatoes and gravy.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Turkey Chops?
The easiest way to cook turkey chops is by pan-frying them over medium heat.
This method provides even heating throughout the chop, which helps prevent burning while creating a nice sear on both sides.
You can use either butter or oil for frying.
Butter works well when cooked at lower temperatures but if you want more control over browning then using oil is better.
The only disadvantage here is that the food needs to be flipped halfway through cooking, but this makes sure each side cooks evenly.
If you prefer not to flip your food, you should definitely consider roasting turkey chops instead.
You’ll find that a lot of people roast their turkey chops before stuffing them into a sandwich.
However, you can roast them without any additional ingredients too.
- Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C
- Arrange slices of turkey onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake until internal temperature reaches 165°F / 74°C (about 20 minutes).
Roasted turkey chops are especially good served alongside roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes.
If you’d rather serve them with something savory, try serving them stuffed inside a mushroom cap!
There are many ways to prepare turkey legs.
One option is simply cutting off the thighs and slicing them open horizontally.
Then you can place those thigh sections between two pieces of bread and grill them until crispy.
Another option is to cut off the drumsticks from the breast section and remove the skin.
You can then pop the drumstick bone out and slice the meat off along the joint.
These slices make excellent chicken wings since they contain just enough meat to satisfy your hunger.
Lastly, you can easily turn the entire leg/thigh portion into pulled pork.
Just take the meat off the bone, season it with salt and pepper, wrap it in aluminum foil, and slow-cook it until tender.
What Are Some Common Methods Of Cooking Turkey Chops?
One of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing turkey chops is temperature control.
You should never attempt to grill them if you want them to be tender.
Instead, use either a pan or oven method depending on which part of the country you live in.
If you’re not sure where you fall on that spectrum then here are some general guidelines from food safety site FoodSafetyNews.com:
- If you live in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, or South Africa, then use a frying pan over medium heat.
- For those living in Europe, Asia, Japan, China, Russia, Latin America, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Samoa, Republic of Palau, Guam, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Tonga, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Wallis & Futuna Islands, The Federated States of Micronesia, and Marshall Islands, use an electric skillet (preferably non-stick) over high heat.
- If you live in any other region, use an electric skillet (non-stick preferred) over high heat.
The reason why you shouldn’t try grilling turkey chops is due to the fact that they contain a lot more fat than lean meat.
Grilled meat tends to dry out faster than grilled vegetables so you won’t get the same result as you would if you tried baking them instead.
You may notice that many recipes call for a specific amount of liquid but remember that the meat itself doesn’t absorb very well.
It does however taste better when it’s served slightly undercooked, which means you might want to consider adding some extra stock or broth to the mix.
What Are Some Tips For Ensuring That Turkey Chops Are Cooked Properly?
There are many different types of cuts from which to choose when making turkey chops, but the ones we recommend are boneless breasts (or “wings”).
These are cut right above the wing joint where the breast meets the back leg.
The result is two thin slices of meat connected by bone, which makes them ideal candidates for pan-frying or grilling.
The best way to ensure that you get good results is to start off with quality ingredients.
Make sure that you buy fresh, free-range turkeys whenever possible.
It’s important to note that even though the birds should be labeled “free range,” that doesn’t mean they were raised without antibiotics.
Always check the label before buying any poultry products.
If you want to learn more about antibiotic use in animal farming, here’s everything you need to know.
Another key factor is temperature control.
When you go to cook turkey chops, try not to overdo it.
You want to avoid burning the outside while keeping the inside nice and moist.
To achieve this, set your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 180 Celsius.
That’s just below medium heat, so adjust accordingly depending on how long you plan on cooking the product.
For example, if you’ll only be checking on your roast after 30 minutes, then you might prefer 425 F / 220 C instead.
Finally, remember that you can always season your food to suit your taste.
One of our favorites is Old Bay seasoning, but there are hundreds of ways to spice up dishes using herbs and spices.
Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t apply too much salt since it will draw out moisture and water content, leaving you with dry, tough meat.
What Are Some Common Mistakes That People Make When Cooking Turkey Chops?
The first step before making any type of food is to ensure that it tastes good.
In general, we know that if something doesn’t taste right, then it probably isn’t going to taste very good at all.
That means that even though turkey chops are pretty straightforward to cook, there may be a few areas where people tend to over-complicate their efforts.
Not letting the meat rest
One thing that makes turkey chops especially appealing is that they’re extremely versatile.
You can use them in just about any meal imaginable, but they really shine when paired with starchy side dishes like mashed potatoes and gravy.
The problem with this pairing is that many people think that once they put the finished product in the oven, they should immediately start serving it.
Unfortunately, this approach leads to undercooked meat which not only ruins the overall experience but causes the meat to dry out too quickly.
To avoid this issue, always let the meat rest after cooking it.
As soon as you take the pan off the stove, remove the meat from the heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before slicing it.
During this process, the meat will release moisture back into the pan, meaning that it won’t overcook as fast as it would otherwise.
Plus, resting allows the juices inside the meat to redistribute themselves, resulting in tender slices of meat instead of tough ones.
Cooking the wrong size
Another mistake that seems to plague many home cooks is choosing the wrong sized piece of meat to begin with.
If you buy a large turkey chop, chances are you aren’t getting enough of it and therefore never get a chance to enjoy the full potential of the cut.
For example, if you bought two medium sized turkey chops and made dinner using both of them, you could easily finish an entire loaf of bread while eating nothing but leftovers.
This is why it’s important to choose the correct size of meat whenever possible.
Most grocery stores sell different sizes of chicken and turkey breasts depending on whether you want a single breast or multiple servings.
By doing this, you give yourself the option to either serve multiple meals or save extra portions for later.
Either way, it ensures that you won’t waste anything by buying the wrong size.
What Are Some Things That Can Be Done To Turkey Chops To Make Them More Flavorful?
There are many ways that you can cook your turkey chops but the two most important factors for their success are temperature and seasoning.
The first step is ensuring that your oven is set at the correct temperature.
You should aim to get your turkey chops nice and hot before putting them inside.
When roasting poultry, you want to avoid any cold spots by placing food closer to the heat source if possible.
Once you know where the hottest part of your oven is located, place your turkey chops directly over that area.
If necessary, put another pan underneath the roast to help elevate it slightly above the floor of your oven.
Once the chops are placed in the oven, you can leave them alone until they reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (about 73°C).
When preparing a traditional roasted turkey, you usually season the meat once it hits 160 degrees F (71°C) which is why it’s best to start out with dry rubs instead of wet marinades.
A good way to ensure that you’ve got enough seasoning during the initial stages of preparation is to cut slits across the surface of each chop.
Make sure not to pierce too deeply though, otherwise you could puncture the breast portion instead of just the skin.
After letting the turkey rest for about 10 minutes while the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F (77°C), you can begin to baste the meat with butter or oil.
Be careful not to pour too much onto the slices since this will result in drippings pooling on top of the chops rather than coating the meat itself.
It’s important to keep in mind that the goal here isn’t to completely saturate the meat with fat.
If you’d prefer to use a liquid instead of butter or oil, you can always opt for broth or stock.
While water would probably taste fine, you might encounter issues with browning depending on the thickness of the cuts.
On the flip side, chicken broth tends to produce better-looking pieces of meat than beef or vegetable broths.
What Are Some Common Side Dishes That Go Well With Turkey Chops?
One thing that makes turkey chops such a versatile meal is that it can easily pair with many different sides.
If you want something simple, try pairing it with roasted vegetables like carrots, turnips, onions, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, squash, and parsnips.
If you prefer a sweeter option, try adding sliced apples, pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, figs, or fresh berries to your plate.
For those who enjoy spicy food, chili peppers, cayenne pepper, red bell peppers, hot sauces, Sriracha sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, thyme, paprika, curry powder, mustard seeds, and ginger are fantastic additions to any type of roast or cut of meat.
And if you really want to push the boat out, consider trying a combination of two or three of these ingredients together!
What Are Some Tips For Serving Turkey Chops?
If you want to serve your guests something special at dinner but aren’t sure where to start, consider turkey chops.
These little nuggets of meat are perfect when paired with traditional sides such as roasted vegetables or cornbread stuffing.
If you’re not ready to make those kinds of meals, however, you may instead opt to use them as a hearty snack.
While turkey chops taste good, they’re not exactly healthy.
That means if you plan to serve them to your family, you should be mindful about portion size.
You won’t get much from eating just two slices, which is why you should try to find ways to bulk out your meal by adding more veggies or even protein-rich foods.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when planning to serve your turkey chops:
- Use fresh herbs and seasonings whenever possible.
- Keep portions moderate. Don’t overdo it!
- Try different cooking methods. For example, you could grill the chops rather than pan fry them.
- Don’t forget your sides.
- Make sure everyone gets enough water.
What Are Some Ideas For Leftovers?
When it comes to leftover turkey, there aren’t many rules when it comes to making use of them.
The basic idea is to take something tasty, such as roasted vegetables, and pair it with the leftover turkey meat.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve made mashed potatoes or bread stuffing, the possibilities are endless!
If you decide to make use of your leftovers by baking them, try adding them to casseroles or stews.
You could even serve them cold over pasta noodles!
If you want to keep things simple, you can simply eat them straight from their paper wrapping.
Just be sure not to overcook them as they tend to dry out quickly after being removed from the oven.
The best part about using leftovers is that you get to enjoy them again later without having to go back to the grocery store.
All you need to do is pop them in the microwave or oven whenever you feel hungry or just plain bored.
That way, you can easily have another meal at any point during the week.
What Are Some Common Ways To Reheat Turkey Chops?
If you want to keep your turkey chops warm until dinner, here are some good ideas you might consider:
- Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) for about 30 minutes.
- Put them directly over low heat in a pan while stirring occasionally.
- Sauté them in butter.
- Add them to soup before serving.
- Slice them up and put them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
- Reheat leftover slices on a paper towel by placing them between two sheets of aluminum foil and heating them slowly in a microwave oven.
- Use a slow cooker to make them tasty again.
The best option depends on your situation, but if you find yourself without any ideas of how to reheat turkey chops, check out our list below!
What Are Some Tips To Cook?
When cooking turkey chops, it helps to know their anatomy.
A turkey chop consists of two legs (thighs) connected by a thick piece of breast meat that runs from top-to-bottom across each leg.
These chunks of meat come together at the bottom of the bone where the thigh meets the drumstick.
The size of each portion depends on the cut of turkey used.
The biggest difference between different cuts is that the wings take longer to cook than the breasts and thighs.
So if you choose to use them for your meal, make sure you allow more time for cooking.
Another thing to keep in mind when preparing turkey chops is that they should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
That way, you won’t run the risk of overcooking the meat which would result in dryness.
- 1 Pan
- 4 Turkey Cutlets
- Salt and Ground pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ tbsp Fresh Rosemary
- ½ tbsp Fresh chives
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp Garlic power
- Add salt and ground black pepper to taste and season both sides of the four turkey cutlets.
- Add Vegetable Oil (2 Tbsp) and Unsalted Butter (2 Tbsp) to a skillet set over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high once the butter and oil combination has started to bubble. When the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165 degrees, add it and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes on each side (75 degrees C). Take out and place aside.
- Add three tablespoons of unsalted butter to the same pan over high heat. While stirring, scrape the pan's bottom frequently.
- Include 3 Tbsp of all-purpose flour. To make a roux, cook while stirring constantly.
- Add fresh parsley, fresh chives, and fresh rosemary, each in the amount of 1/2 tbsp. Stir.
- Add Water (1 cup) . Whisk to combine.
- Add 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoons of ground black pepper to season. Whisk continuously over a high heat.
- Add an additional 1/2 cup of water. When the gravy thickens, whisk.
- Stir in the garlic powder (1/2 tablespoon).
- Add the turkey back to the pan. Toss it in the sauce and coat. For five minutes, cook.
- Serve immediately!