Archive for December, 2018

I was a bit skeptical about this recipe from Canadian Living, but now it’s my go-to roast turkey recipe. Believe it or not, a 12-lb/5.4 kg spatchcocked turkey (one with the backbone removed and flattened) cooks in 90 minutes. It also cooks evenly, so the breasts don’t dry out by the time the legs are cooked. And butter and sage rubbed under the skin makes the meat even more moist and flavourful. Ask your butcher to spatchcock the turkey or do it yourself with a pair of kitchen shears. It does take some brute strength, but lean hard on the bird to flatten it. I spatchcocked the turkey a day in advance so I could use the backbone to make the stock for the gravy and refrigerate it overnight.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Imagine Organic brand stock, Ace Bakery bread, Craisins, Free From breakfast sausages and Gay Lea butter.

Remove backbone, flatten turkey and rub butter and sage under the skin

A spatchcocked turkey turkey cooks quickly and evenly

Ingredients:

Turkey stock

2 teaspoons (10 ml) canola oil

Reserved turkey back, giblets and neck

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves (optional)

1 900 ml pkg (30 oz) no-salt-added chicken broth

Stuffing

1 loaf white bread , cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about 20 cups/5 L)

½ cup (125 ml) dried cranberries

1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil

6 small breakfast sausages , casings removed

¼ cup (60 ml) butter

1 onion , chopped

1 leek (white and light green parts only), chopped

¾ teaspoons (3.75 ml) salt , divided

2 cloves garlic , minced

½ cup (125 ml) chopped parsley leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped sage leaves

1 tablespoon (15 ml) thyme leaves

2 cups (500 ml) no-salt-added chicken broth , warmed, divided

3 eggs

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper

Turkey

3 ribs celery , cut in chunks

2 onions , cut in wedges

10 sprigs thyme

1 whole turkey (12 to 14 lbs/5.4 to 6.3 kg)

¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted butter, softened

4 to 6 sage leaves (optional)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) each kosher salt and pepper

Gravy

¼ cup (60 ml) butter

5 tablespoons (75 ml) all-purpose flour

Strained pan juices from roast spatchcock turkey

pinch each salt and pepper

Preparation:

Turkey stock

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Roughly chop turkey back and neck into 2 to 3 pieces each; add to pot with giblets and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to bowl. Add onion to pot; cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Return turkey bits and any juices to pot. Add bay leaves (if using) and chicken broth, scraping up browned bits. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Strain through fine-mesh sieve into bowl. Skim off any fat on surface. (You should have about 4 cups/1L stock.)

Stuffing

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Mist 13- x 9-inch (33- x 22-cm) baking dish with cooking spray or brush with canola oil. Place bread on baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Place bread and cranberries in large bowl.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausages; cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread mixture; stir to combine.

In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, leek and ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) of the salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, parsley, sage and thyme; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) of the chicken broth, scraping up browned bits. Scrape into bowl with bread mixture; stir to combine.

In separate bowl, whisk together remaining 1 ¾ cups (438 ml) chicken broth, eggs, remaining ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Drizzle over bread mixture, tossing until coated and egg mixture is absorbed. Transfer to prepared dish. Cover tightly with foil; bake until thermometer inserted in centre reads 165°F (74°C), about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serves 12.

Turkey

Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F (232°C). Line large rimmed baking sheet with overlapping foil; scatter celery, onions and thyme over pan and set large rack over vegetables.

Pat turkey dry with paper towel. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for use in gravy. Place turkey breast side down on cutting board. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of backbone; remove backbone and add to giblets and neck. Turn turkey breast side up. Press firmly on each half of turkey breast to flatten.

Place turkey on rack on prepared pan, breast side up; tuck wing tips under. Loosen breast skin and rub butter between skin and flesh; slide in sage (if using). Brush turkey skin with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast turkey for 70 minutes, covering with foil if browning too quickly.

Reduce heat to 400°F (204°C); rotate pan and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast reads 170°F (77°C) and in thickest part of thigh reads at least 180°F (82°C), 15 to 20 minutes.

Loosely tent turkey with foil; let rest at least 15 minutes before transferring to cutting board to carve. Carefully scrape vegetables and pan drippings through fine-mesh sieve into bowl; skim off excess fat and reserve pan juices for gravy. Serves 12.

Gravy

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour; stir until light brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in ½ cup of the turkey stock until absorbed; whisk in ½ cup more stock until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining stock; bring to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook until thickened slightly and reduced to 2 ½ cups, 20 to 25 minutes.

Stir pan juices into gravy; bring to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper, but taste before seasoning; if you use flavourful stock and pan juices, you may not need added salt. Serves 12.

From Canadian Living

I’m a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa, especially her chicken recipes. This one does not disappoint. Warm minced garlic in oil, then add lemon zest, juice, wine, oregano and thyme. Pour over chicken pieces, bake and enjoy!

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used a white wine from Frogpond Farm with a sulfite level lower than 10 parts per million. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice.

Pour sauce over chicken and bake until done

Ina Garten's lemon chicken

Ingredients:

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

3 tablespoons (45 ml) minced garlic, 8-9 cloves

⅓ cup (85 ml) dry white wine

1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon zest, from about 2 lemons

2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 lemon

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) dried oregano

1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts, 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or 2 skin-on half chickens, patted dry

Slices lemon, from remaining lemon after zesting

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C.

In a small sauce pan, warm the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, stir together the wine, lemon zest and juice, oregano, and thyme.

Whisk the wine mixture into the warm oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In an oven safe-baking dish, pour in about half of the wine and oil mixture. Place the chicken over the sauce, skin side up. Tuck the lemon slices under the chicken skin. Season the skin with salt and pepper, if using. Pour the remaining wine and oil mixture over the chicken.

Cook times: boneless skin-on chicken breasts: 30 – 40 minutes; boneless skinless chicken breasts: 25 – 35 minutes; bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: 40 – 50 minutes; skin-on half chickens: 45 – 55 minutes. Serves 4.

From Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

This dish from The New York Times brims with flavour from fresh herbs, lime and crunchy carrots. Marinate the pork briefly and then sear until it’s still slightly pink in the middle. Slice and add to sauce, cooked rice noodles, carrots and herbs.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lime juice and a fish sauce with no preservatives or MSG, such as Cock brand.

Make the sauce

Marinate the pork in a little of the sauce

Add the carrots to the remaining sauce

Cook the pork in a skillet until just a hint of pink remains, then slice

Chop the herbs and slice the lime

Add cooked rice noodles, pork and herbs to the sauce and toss before serving

Ingredients:

⅓  cup (83 ml) fish sauce

¼  cup (60 ml) dark, pure maple syrup

2  tablespoons (30 ml) canola or other neutral oil

Black pepper

2  large shallots, thinly sliced (¾ cup/180 ml)

1  long red finger chile, thinly sliced (⅓ cup/83 ml)

3  small garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon/15 ml)

4  thin (½-inch/1.25 cm) boneless pork chops (¾ to 1 pound/340 to 454 g total)

⅓  cup (83 ml) fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes), plus lime wedges for serving

3  carrots, peeled and julienned (2 cups/500 ml)

Kosher salt

8 to 9  ounces (226 to 255 g) thin rice vermicelli noodles

2  packed cups (500 ml) torn fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil and dill (2 ½ ounces/71 g), plus more for garnish

Preparation:

Whisk the fish sauce, syrup, 1 tablespoon oil, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the shallots, chile and garlic. Transfer 2 tablespoons liquid to a large shallow dish and add the pork. Turn to evenly coat and let stand until ready to cook.

Stir the lime juice into the sauce in the bowl. Add the carrots and toss until evenly coated. Let stand.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining tablespoon (15 ml) oil in the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the pork and cook, turning once, until seared and just rosy in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let stand.

Put the noodles in the boiling water, stir well, and remove from the heat. Let stand until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain very well, then transfer to the sauce in the bowl. Toss until evenly coated.

Cut the pork into thin slices and add to the noodles with any accumulated juices. Toss well. Toss in the herbs until well mixed. The mixture may look a bit soupy. As it sits and cools, the noodles will absorb the liquid. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with more herbs and lime wedges. Serves 4.

From the New York Times