I stashed away a frozen turkey just before Thanksgiving and when I had fully recovered from the family festivities, I decided I would try the braising method found here. I did not brine it first (I’ve made it no secret I do not understand brining – extra work and messy for not much reward IMHO).
This method is fairly easy to do. You need to have a sharp knife to separate the leg/thighs from the bird and I also removed the backbone and wings before cooking to use for soup stock.
I can’t say that it was any better or worse than the cooking in a bag method, but it did make the best gravy ever. So I might do it again.
I nearly dropped the whole stock pot last night while carrying it down to the basement fridge. I did slop a pint or so out onto the stairs but they cleaned up well enough, just bare wood – no carpet. I brought it back up this afternoon and ladled out portions to freeze, and brought the rest to a boil for the dumplings. Simple rolled dumplings: flour, salt, baking powder, lard, and milk enough to moisten. These could have spent more time simmering but they were close enough done to eat. I stirred in a can of cream of celery soup just to get that can out of the pantry. I bought it long ago for an abandoned project, long enough ago I don’t remember what I had intended for it.
Mrs J makes a killer pie crust using the smittenkitchen.com butter recipe. We like these with crusts on the bottom, too. I bought some 6″ anodized aluminum pie pans a while ago and these pies came right out of them without greasing the pan, Lots of butter in the crust.Sometimes I mix the fillings with the white sauce, these were assembled in layers – veggies then meat then sauce, then the same again.I cooked a white sauce with a little nutmeg and a teaspoon of dry mustard. It seemed lacking so I turned it into a mornay sauce by grating in a few ounces of Parmesan. It would have been a little better with more half and half, these came out a bit drier than I like.Top them with another crust and seal the rims with a fork, trim the excess dough, then give them an egg wash. This wash was a whole egg beaten with a dollop of dairy.Pop them into a 350 oven until they get some nice color, about 30 minutes.
Cornbread Stuffing Photo by JeffreyW
Bixby and I are hitting the road for the holiday, as long as the weather stays nice. I’m planning on arriving early so I can help with prep, because I
like love to cook. Bixby is growing fast and you can see his latest photo here, along with a quick update. I hope he does as well in the car as he did last trip.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, next to 4th of July. Food, family, friends…and leftovers. I compiled some favorite recipes for tonight’s recipe exchange.
Roasted Butternut Apple Soup makes a great starter, recipe here.
I think I’m going to volunteer for mashed potato duty this year so I can make these again, a lost recipe found, Hearty Garlic Mashed Potatoes, link here. I made them years ago and then completely forgot about the recipe.
And this recipe is the reason I think I get invited to many holiday gatherings, my Cranberry Upside Down Cake, click here.
Since my brother is cooking again this year, we’ll probably have deep fried turkey, which is ok by me, as long as I’m not cooking it. I have a real fear of deep frying anything, which is why all the deep fried recipes on the blog are from JeffreyW. I will still cook a turkey, though, because, leftovers. This year I’m going to try the braising method from America’s Test Kitchen’s Braised Turkey technique, link here, minus the brining.
Not sure how you want to cook your turkey this year? I’ve listed some ideas from people smarter than I am: turkey four different ways, here.
What’s on the menu for your Thanksgiving this year? Do you have a must-have recipe for your holiday dinner?
I’m not a fan of traditional candied sweet potatoes, so tonight’s featured recipes are some non-traditional styles of recipes for sweet potatoes.
Cajun Sweet Potatoes
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- ¼ tsp cumin (opt)
Covered casserole dish, well-greased
Steamer and saucepan
In saucepan, add water, steamer and sweet potatoes. Steam until you can easily stick a fork in them. They don’t need to be completely soft. About 10-15 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to casserole dish. Combine oil, butter and spices. Pour evenly over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. You can adjust cooking time if you prefer your firmer or softer potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes w/Apples
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
- ¼ cup water
- 2 apples, cored & sliced
- 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
- 2 tsp butter
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
2 qt casserole dish, greased
Add ingredients to casserole dish. Stir gently and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft. Cover if it begins to brown too much
That’s it for this week. No recipe exchange next week I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. – TaMara
I found a frozen block of turkey broth while rummaging through the big box and dragged it out. I added more broth and a few more chicken thighs, tossed in some veggies and a bag of dumplings that have been in the freezer since I can’t remember when. It all simmered for a good while but the dumplings never did get quite right, they’ll be better tomorrow when they have had more time to soak.
It was pretty cold overnight, down into the teens. We got a bare dusting of snow but that will go away today. Strong south wind and warming temps today, we have made it into the 40s but there is a chance for sprinkles later. Soup sounded pretty good. This one has the turkey and some baby carrots along with a wild rice mix from Zatarain. They make good rice mixes and we really like the wild/long grain rice mix they sell. It’s been absent from the local market so we ordered a case online.
We bought a turkey the other day because the sale price was so good and cooked the bird in the oven, stripped the meat, and made stock with the carcass. Mrs J has been wanting dumplings for a while now and today I put the dish together with simple rolled dumplings.
This is a really good turkey soup even before the dumplings are added. I diced celery, carrots, onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic and softened them on the stove top in olive oil with a pinch of dried thyme. These went into the pot with the stock and the already cooked turkey to simmer until the veggies were done. At this point the mixture can sit until you are ready to drop in the dumplings, they only take 5 minutes to cook up. The flour in the dumplings will thicken the broth, but if you want just the turkey vegetable soup sans dumplings you can add a tablespoon of flour to the veggies as you saute them. If you do, add a ladle of broth to the saute pan and stir well to combine with the flour before you dump the lot into the pot.