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Woldy Reyes’s Adobo-Braised Turkey Thighs

“#INTHEKUSINA – Thanksgiving to me is about spending time with my chosen family and remembering the history of lndegenious People and Native Americans. Growing up, my family didn’t eat turkey during Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a variety of traditional Filipino dishes like pancit, adobo and lumpia. It’s only when I became an adult that I started to cook turkey.
For this recipe, instead of a traditional whole roast turkey which could take several hours to roast, I used turkey thighs because they are quick and easy. I braised the turkey thighs in a Filipino Adobo sauce which has rich coconut milk, savory tamari, specks of pink peppercorns and tons of garlic. The result is the meat is falling off the bone tender and an umami explosion of flavors: salty, sweet and tart. To me personally, this recipe is the perfect blend of Filipino and American flavors coming together in one delicious bite.” – Woldy Reyes

Serves 6

5 pounds of bone-in and skin-on turkey thighs
can (14 fluid ounce) coconut milk, preferably Aroy-D
½ cup tamari
½ cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup maple syrup
2 cups low sodium chicken stock 2 medium yellow onions, diced
12 garlic cloves, peeled
3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
tablespoon pink peppercorns
5 bay leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Steamed jasmine rice for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pat the turkey thighs dry with a paper towel. Season the thighs with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven, over medium-high heat, heat up vegetable oil until shimmering and add in the turkey, skin side down. Brown for about 8-10 minutes and flip the non-skin side down and brown for 3 minutes. Transfer the thighs onto a plate. Set aside.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add in onions, garlic and ginger and stir and cook until the onions are translucent. Add in pink peppercorns and bay leaves until it’s fragrant. Pour in coconut milk, tamari, vinegar, maple syrup and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and stir. Return the thighs into the pot with the skin side up. Place the pot in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 1 ½ hours. Check for the amount of liquid every 30 minutes. If liquid is running low, add a splash of chicken stock. Uncover the pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes until the thighs are cooked through and the juices run clear.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Meet Woldy Reyes

Woldy Reyes is a Queer Filipino-American Chef and Founder of the boutique catering company, Woldy Kusina, based in Brooklyn, New York. Woldy Kusina’s cuisine is centered around a simple philosophy – to provide good food and good experiences, with sustainability and culture at the heart of it all. As a first-generation Filipino American, Reyes effortlessly infuses contemporary dishes with vibrant flavors and colors that are inspired by his Filipino roots. Using only seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, his menus are best described as fresh, natural and fulfilling.

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