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Posts from the ‘Recipes’ Category

Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this year I am thankful for perfecting my turkey recipe.

In my eyes, the turkey is usually never the star of Thanksgiving, because I am very partial to the mountains of sides. This year, however, I decided to do my research. I wanted my turkey to have crispy skin, a juicy breast, and meat flavored throughout, and not just on the edges. What’s the secret? Brining.

There are two ways to brine your turkey: wet brining or dry brining. To wet brine a turkey, you have to have a giant pot or bucket with a base of water and seasonings. The turkey marinates in this brine for over 24 hours, and helps ensure that the meat is thoroughly flavored.

I decided to dry brine my turkey, because of the importance of the crispy skin. I took a completely thawed turkey and patted it completely dry with paper towels. Then, I made a spice mixture of around 4 Tbsp of salt, and 1 Tbsp each of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, sage and thyme. I rubbed the inside cavity with the mixture until it was thoroughly seasoned, and rubbed the skin of the entire bird with the mixture as well. Then, with my hands I carefully separated the membrane between the skin and the flesh on the breasts and on the meaty part of the legs and rubbed the remaining mixture in those cavities. I then placed my seasoned turkey on a pan with a roasting rack in the fridge uncovered for 24 hours. Also, the night before I cooked my bird, I make an herb butter to rub under the skin before cooking. I started by melting one stick of butter in the microwave, stirring every 45 seconds until completely melted. Then, I put in fresh thyme and sage and let the butter marinade in its liquid state for about an hour. Then, I took out the herbs and let it harden in the fridge.

The next day. I preheated my oven to 325°farenheight and moved the oven racks low enough to fit my turkey nicely. While the oven was preheating, I peeled and cut one white onion in half, and put it in the seasoned cavity of the bird. I also added one halved lemon, two whole cloves of garlic, and a bundle of fresh thyme and sage. Then, I took my herb butter and rubbed it under the skin all over the breasts and the legs. I flipped my wings under the bird, and filled the bottom of the roasting pan with about ¾ of an inch of chicken broth, so I could baste the turkey. I cooked my turkey according to the cook time calculator on the Butterball website and basted it every 15-20 minutes. I had an 18lb turkey and it took approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes to cook thoroughly.

I ended up with the perfect turkey. It was juicy and tender, with crispy skin and flavorful meat. It was by far, the best turkey I have ever had, and it is now the star of my thanksgiving feast.

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Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

Well, it’s about time I put a recipe on this blog, huh? It’s finally starting to look like fall outside, which is my favorite season for cooking. I am a huge fan of stick-to-your-bones type meals, and one of my all time favorite meals is chicken pot pie.

Now, chicken pot pie can be really complicated, but I always tend to do things the easy way. Being a freshly graduated college student, I don’t want to spend over $30 making a single pot pie, so I spend about $15 and make two gigantic pies.

To make my easy and cheap pot pie recipe you will need:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (about 4 cups)
  • 4 frozen pie crusts (usually comes in packs of 2)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1tsp sage
  • 1tbsp garlic powder
  • 1tbsp black pepper
  • 1tbsp salt

Assuming you already have the spices at home, this lot should cost you around $15.

 

I like to start my pies the night before. I take the rotisserie chicken and shred it with a fork, making sure to get every bit of meat off the bones. I seal that in a container and place it in the fridge. I also move my frozen pie crusts to the fridge to thaw out overnight. This extra prep before the actual assembly of the pies will make your life so much easier, I promise.

 

 

Now, the day has arrived to make the pot pies! I start by preheating my oven to 425°F. We will only be baking one of the pies, so that will be a sufficient temperature. While the oven is preheating, take a large mixing bowl and add together the shredded chicken, the whole bag of frozen veggies (I prefer mixed peas, carrots and corn), both cans of soup and the spices. Mix them until all the veggies and chicken are evenly coated with the soup.

Next, fill two of the pie tins with the mixture. Make sure there are even amounts in both tins. Then, take the remaining crusts and layer them over the filled tins to make two sealed pies. Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork to prevent any gravy spillage. Take one of the pies and cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the freezer. It will keep fresh for 2 weeks. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge for at least 24 hours before baking.           

Take tonight’s pie and put it on a baking sheet lined with tin foil to catch any drippings. Cut some slits at the top of the pie for ventilation, and then put in the oven for 35 minutes. After the 35 minutes is up, take the pie out and wrap foil around the edges of the crust to prevent burning. Put the pie back in the oven for another 20 minutes. After the pie is done, remove the foil from the crusts and allow the pie to sit for 10-15 minutes, or else it will be too hot and liquid to get an even slice.This is a super easy meal that doesn’t require much preparation, and is a one of my go to meals in the fall and winter. Be sure to comment and tell me how your pies turned out!