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Chicken Turkey

December 20, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Poultry, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Moderate

6.5-8 kg higher-welfare turkey
flavoured butter
2-4 clementines
a few sprigs of fresh herbs
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2-3 carrots
3 onions, peeled
2 sticks celery
Get your turkey and use a spoon to work your way between the skin and the meat. Start at the side of the cavity just above the leg and work gently up towards the breastbone and towards the back so you create a large cavity. Pick up half of your butter and push it into the cavity you’ve created. Use your hands to push it through the skin right to the back so it coats the breast meat as evenly as possible. Do the same on the other side then rub any leftover butter all over the outside of the bird to use it up. If you’ve got any herb stalks left over, put them in the cavity of the turkey for added flavour as it cooks. Cover the turkey in cling film and keep in the fridge until you need it. 
Take your turkey out of the fridge a few hours before you are ready to put it in the oven so it has time to come up to room temperature. That flavoured butter will already be under the skin so you’ll only need a few tweaks to finish it off. Halve the clementines and pop them in the cavity with a few more sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, bay and thyme. The fruit will steam and flavour the birds in a really lovely way. Take the fresh rosemary, pull off the leaves at the bottom then spear that through the loose skin around the cavity to hold it together and keep it from shrinking back as the turkey cooks.
Open up the neck cavity and pack as much stuffing as possible in there, then carefully pull the skin back over the cavity, tuck it under the bird and pop it in the roasting tray. If you’ve already made your gravy like I’ve done, you won’t need a vegetable trivet, if not, do that now by roughly chopping the carrots, onions and celery sticks. Preheat your oven to full whack, get the turkey in the roasting tray and cover with foil. As soon as it goes in the oven, immediately turn the heat down to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. 
As a rough guide, you want to cook the turkey for about 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram, so a 7kg turkey will want about 4 to 4½ hours in the oven. But there are so many variables such as the sort of oven you have and the quality of your bird. Check on your turkey every 30 minutes or so and keep it from drying out by basting it with the lovely juices from the bottom of the pan. After 3½ hours, remove the foil so the skin gets golden and crispy. If you are at all worried just stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. When the internal temperature has reached 65ºC for a good quality bird, and about 82ºC for a cheaper bird, it’s ready to come out. 
Carefully put a metal skewer in the cavity and use it to lift the bird and angle it over the roasting tray so all of the juices from the cavity run out. Move the turkey to a platter then cover it with a double layer of tinfoil and 2 tea towels to keep it warm while it rests for at least 30 minutes.

Grilled Turkey

December 1, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Advanced

1 12-14-pound turkey
2½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary, sage or thyme
Wood chips, soaked (optional)
1. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least an hour before grilling so it can come to room temperature. Place the bird on a rimmed baking sheet or large cutting board. Using a sturdy pair of kitchen shears, snip along both sides of the backbone to remove it entirely. (Save the bone for making stock for your gravy.) Snip through the top 1-2 inches of the breastbone to make flattening the turkey easier. Turn the turkey over (breast-side up) and push firmly down to split the breastbone. Tuck the wings behind the breast. This technique is called spatchcocking, and now the turkey should flat. Using paper towels, blot any remaining moisture. Season the turkey on both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Stir the wine, butter, oil and herbs together and set aside for basting.
3. Wrap a metal sheet pan or shallow metal roasting dish in aluminum foil to deflect some of the heat from the breast and to catch the drippings. Place the pan underneath the grill grates and heat the grill to medium-low heat (about 325-375°). If using charcoal, add a few pieces of soaked hardwood for additional flavor, or wrap the soaked wood in aluminum foil and place next to the turkey. Brush the grates clean. Place the turkey in the middle of the grill over the pan, breast-side up.
4. Cover the turkey and grill, basting every 20 mins, over medium-low indirect heat for 1 hour and 45 mins, or until the thickest part of the breast is 160°. Remove the turkey to a rimmed baking dish and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Add any accumulated juices and pan drippings to your gravy. Carve and serve.

Turkey Posole

November 29, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Moderate

6 cups homemade turkey or chicken stock (or low-sodium chicken broth)
2 ancho chiles, soaked in water to soften
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in water until soft, drained, and chopped
1 (28-ounce) can hominy
3 cups roasted turkey, skin removed and meat shredded
4 cups chard, stems removed and cut into 1 in. ribbons
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional whole leaves for garnish
Juice of half a fresh lime (1 tablespoon)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar
Fried Blue and White Corn Tortillas, for garnish (recipe follows), or store bought tortilla chips, crumbled
Lime wedges, for garnish
1. Place stock in a medium saucepan, reserving ¼ cup, and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, place remaining ¼ cup stock and the rehydrated ancho chiles in a blender and puree until combined.
2. Add pureed anchos, porcini and hominy to the stock and cook for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice, turkey, greens and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes, until the chard is wilted and the turkey is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese, cilantro leaves, fried tortillas and lime.
Fried Blue and White Corn Tortillas
2 cups peanut oil
2 blue corn tortillas, julienned
2 white corn tortillas, julienned
Kosher salt
Heat oil in a high sided large saute pan until it reaches 350º. Add half the the tortillas and cook until just crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt immediately. Repeat with the second batch.

Fig-Glazed Roast Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing

October 18, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Easy

1 1/2 cups dried figs, roughly chopped
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
10 large cornbread muffins or 1 loaf cornbread, torn into pieces (about 5 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 to 1 cup chicken or turkey stock (homemade or store-bought)
1 10 -to-12-pound fresh turkey, neck and giblets removed
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 softened)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Combine the figs, honey and lemon juice in a large bowl; add 3 cups warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the figs are tender and soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Pour off the liquid into a separate bowl; set aside.
Make the stuffing: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and rosemary and gently saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and saute until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Scrape the sausage mixture into the bowl with the figs. Add the cornbread pieces and season well with salt and pepper. Give it a good toss until it’s well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, heavy cream and 1/2 cup stock; pour over the cornbread-sausage mixture and stir to combine, adding up to 1/2 cup more stock if the mixture is dry. Set aside while you work on the turkey.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the turkey thoroughly inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the turkey breast and massage the 1 stick softened butter onto the breast meat. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Stuff the bird with the cornbread stuffing. Cross the legs over each other and tie with kitchen twine. Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and place it in the oven. Roast 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: Bring the reserved fig liquid to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until syrupy, about 8 more minutes. Cut up the remaining stick of butter and whisk it into the glaze.
After the turkey has roasted 2 hours, baste it with the fig glaze and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, 30 minutes to 1 hour more. (If the legs or breast brown too quickly during roasting, cover them with foil.) Transfer the turkey to a platter or cutting board, loosely cover with foil and let rest up to 30 minutes before carving. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Delmonico’s Creole Glazed Turkey Wings

September 30, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Poultry, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Easy



8 turkey wings
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
5 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
1 gallon vegetable oil (or as needed for frying)
Creole Tomato Glaze


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Generously season turkey wings with kosher salt and black pepper. Place them in a roasting pan with the onions, celery, carrots, thyme, and bay leaves.

Cover the wings completely with the vegetable oil. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook in the oven until fork tender about 3 hours. Check the oil every hour to make sure it isn’t too hot, it should be at a low bubble.

Once the wings are tender, transfer them from the oil to a baking sheet and place them in the refrigerator, uncovered, to air-dry overnight.

Deep fry the wings at 375 degrees F until the skin is crispy and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Toss the wings in the Creole Tomato Glaze and serve immediately.


Cranberry-Orange Glazed Turkey

September 22, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Poultry, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Moderate



One 11-pound turkey, cut into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cranberry-Orange Glaze, recipe follows
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Assorted fresh herb sprigs, orange wedges and whole cranberries, for garnish
Cranberry Orange Glaze:
1/2 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 1/4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey pieces and pat very dry with paper towels. Brush the turkey all over with the oil, and then sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Arrange the turkey pieces, skin-side up, on a baking sheet with the thick end of breasts and thighs at the corners and the drumsticks in the center. Roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven and brush with the Cranberry-Orange Glaze. Pour the broth onto the baking sheet to prevent the drippings from burning and roast the turkey 20 more minutes, covering loosely with foil if browning too quickly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh (do not let the thermometer touch the bone).

Transfer the turkey to a platter. Brush generously with more glaze and let rest 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, scrape all the pan juices and browned bits from the baking sheet into a large measuring cup. Spoon off and discard the fat that rises to the surface. In a heavy, medium saucepan, heat the degreased pan juices over medium-high heat. Whisk 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls of the glaze into the pan juices (or more if desired) to make the gravy and bring to a simmer for the flavors to blend.

Slice the turkey and arrange on the platter. Garnish with the herb sprigs, oranges wedges and cranberries. Serve the turkey with the gravy.
Cranberry Orange Glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring the juices, marmalade and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the glaze thickens enough to coat a spoon, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the butter, and then season the glaze with the salt and pepper. Yield: about 1 1/4 cups.


Maple Turkey Burgers with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Onions

August 30, 2014 in Course: Main, Cuisine: Meat, Cuisine: Turkish, Skill Level: Moderate


8 slices smoky bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, dark and white meat combined, 80-85% lean
2 tablespoons real maple syrup or 1 tablespoon maple sugar
About 3 tablespoons onion, grated over the mixing bowl you place meat in
2 tablespoons grainy or brown mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 apple, Honeycrisp or Gala, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A few grates nutmeg
1 package sliced blue cheese, such as Castello brand sliced Danish blue cheese
Pretzel rolls, split and prepared according to package directions

Bake bacon on a slotted broiling pan in a 375°F oven to crisp.
Place meat in bowl and combine with maple syrup or sugar, onion, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter and onions, and cook to light caramel in color, about 15 minutes. Add apples and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook 3-4 minutes more until apples are tender-crisp. 
Meanwhile, preheat a large, cast-iron skillet for the burgers. Cook burgers in 1 tablespoon of oil, a turn of the pan, for about 12 minutes turning once. Top patties with blue cheese and cover with foil or a burger lid to melt the cheese. Top burgers with 2 slices of bacon, some apples and onions, set bun tops in place and serve.