Archives for November 2013

Leftover Turkey – What To Do With All That Goodness

Leftover Turkey – What To Do With All That Goodness

Now that you know how to roast and carve your turkey, you can start thinking about what to do with all those delicious leftovers!

Chef J shares a couple of his favorite recipes for leftover turkey so you don’t get bored by day three!

It’s the same every year: we’re afraid that there won’t be enough food so we buy the biggest turkey we can find. Then we spend the next week trying to figure out how to get rid of leftover turkey! The turkey sandwich is a classic for a reason, but you might have a hard time selling it by Monday. I like to give mine a twist with a heaping shmear of strawberry cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. But there are a few other tricks that can help you utilize the rest of your Thanksgiving feast; one of my favorite, easy ways to use leftover turkey is the quesadilla. I know, it’s not a big stretch from a sandwich, but a little melted cheese goes a long way. And you might get a few odd looks, but try some leftover turkey on your waffles Sunday morning, swimming in maple syrup.

Apple Turkey Quesadillacheese crisp

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese (or similar mild cheese)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ of a green apple, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz shredded or sliced leftover turkey

Place the tortilla on a hot griddle and evenly sprinkle on the cheese and rosemary. Layer the apples, then the turkey, over half of the tortilla. When the cheese has melted enough to stick to the tortilla fold it in half. Grill for about a minute and a half on each side until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melty. Slice it up and enjoy! It’s also very good with a dab of sour cream and even a little bit of leftover cranberry sauce!

Another simple staple of mine is teriyaki. It’s easy and healthy but has a comfort food feel that should please both the refined palettes of the culinary snobs as well as the picky eaters at your table. The sauce is quick to make, it will keep in the fridge for at least a week or can be frozen for the long term. Drizzle it over some reheated leftover turkey, with some rice, maybe a little sliced scallion, and break out the chopsticks! You can play with this recipe quite a bit- make it sweeter, spicier, garlicky-er, you can add a little wasabi or even a bit of chipotle. It also makes a nice glaze for meats and veggies on the grill!

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh, grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp chile flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp white pepper (or about ¼ tsp of black pepper)
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water

Mix all of the ingredients together except for the cornstarch slurry. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Mix in the slurry and simmer for another 4-5 minutes to thicken up a bit. Serve over leftover turkey with rice.

 

What do you do with leftover turkey?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Printer friendly recipes: Leftover Turkey Recipes

 

Turkey Carving Tips from a Pro

Turkey Carving Tips from a Pro

chef jSo, you read last week’s blog and are all prepped to make a delicious Thanksgiving turkey, right? Now you just need to know how to get that bird from roasting pan to table! Chef J is back with some turkey carving tips to teach you how to do it the right way.

That lovely carving set you got as a wedding gift (you know, the one with the two-prong fork and thin knife), is pretty useless for turkey carving and will do more harm than good here. Sorry about that… You should have a very sharp carving or chef’s knife for this, along with a pair of tongs, and some good old fashioned fingers. Some vinyl food service gloves will help keep things clean and prevent your hands from getting too hot.

Turkey Carving:

  • Position your beautiful birdy on a carving board so that the ends of the drumsticks are pointing toward you, breast-side up.
  • Pull the leg up and out to expose the joint. Using the tip of your knife, cut through the joint and socket. Gently pull the drumstick away from the body while “following” with your knife; the leg should cleanly separate from the body with you doing minimal cutting. You know what a drumstick looks like! Now do that again on the other side. You can serve these whole to two lucky guests or slice them up to share the love. To carve the leg, simply hold the small end upright with the fat end on your board. Slice straight down through the meat and rotate, leaving behind the bone and connective tissue.
  • To get at the white meat, rotate the turkey, or your board, so that the wings and breasts are pointed toward you and the (now missing) legs are facing away. There is a ridge bone running down the center of the breast; start about half an inch to the side of center, slicing parallel to the ridge. Cut gently, letting the rib cage guide your knife as you slice all the way through toward your cutting board while pulling the meat away in one large piece. Repeat for the other side. You will have two breast pieces and a relatively clean rib cage (don’t worry if there is a bit of meat left behind). Now you can slice the breast meat against the grain into ¼ to ½ inch pieces.
  • Flip the turkey over, breast side down, and position it so that the leg-end is facing you. Pull the wings away from the body to expose the joint. Cut through the joint and socket just like you did with the leg.
  • Starting just below where the wing was, slice toward you, separating the thigh from the body. You will have a large piece, about half the size of the breast, with one bone running through the center. Place the thigh skin-side-down on your cutting board. Using the tip of your knife, cut parallel to the bone, separating it from the meat. You should be able to gently tear the bone out with your fingers without losing any meat. Flip it over so that it is skin-side up and cut against the grain (perpendicular to where the bone was) into ¼ to ½ inch slices.

You now have a fairly clean carcass. The remaining meat can be removed by hand, picking the good stuff out from in between the bones and hard to reach places. This makes great leftovers! To get all the goodness out of your turkey, use the carcass to make some delicious turkey stock.

Turkey carving doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

It seems we all have a turkey carving horror story – follow these steps and this year it won’t be about you!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive updates of new posts. Next week Chef J will be sharing some ideas for all that leftover turkey!

Thanksgiving Turkey – Tips for a Delicious and Juicy Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey – Tips for a Delicious and Juicy Turkey

Thanksgiving is almost here! Are you as excited as we are? This week, Chef J shares a delicious and easy recipe to get that Thanksgiving turkey on the table. Check back next week for Chef J’s tips on carving your bird.

Turkey is my favorite poultry (as well as one of my favorite things to call bad drivers while I’m on the road…) so I take Thanksgiving dinner very seriously. Cooking a turkey and then carving that turkey can be very intimidating, especially if you have friends and relatives coming over that you would like to impress! Fear not!

With a few simple tricks you will end up with a delicious Thanksgiving turkey that your guests will just gobble up.

They will be stuffing themselves with your perfect poultry (Thanksgiving is also a great holiday for terrible puns, you jive turkeys!).

The most common problem people face on their plates is a dry bird- this doesn’t have to happen to you! For a moist turkey the key is time: take as much of it as you need. If you follow these steps, by the time you are ready to carve your Thanksgiving turkey you will have nothing to worry about. Brining the bird the day before will help it retain moisture, a little butter under the skin will add flavor and richness, and (most importantly) letting it rest before carving your turkey will keep all of the juices where they should be.

Brined Thanksgiving Turkey

As far as flavor goes, you can use whatever herbs and spices you like, but here is my favorite recipe:

juicy-turkey

Brine:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 4 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups honey
  • ¼ cup peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage
  • 1 TBS whole cloves
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • Ice

Bring the first gallon of water to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients (except the cold water and ice!), lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until everything has dissolved.
Combine the hot brine with the cold water in a separate container; add ice until the mixture is cold.
Place your turkey into a container large enough to hold it and the brine, but small enough to fit in your refrigerator, positioned so that the drumsticks and cavity opening are facing upward.
Pour the brine over and into the bird, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When your bird has been sufficiently brined, remove it from the liquid. Give it a quick rinse and pat it completely dry. Let it sit at room temperature while preparing the rub and heating your oven.

turkey sq 1

Rub:

  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients.Gently rub the mixture evenly under the skin of the entire turkey.Heat your oven to 325.
Place the bird on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover completely and tightly with heavy duty foil, tent it so that it is not touching the turkey.
If you have a thermometer that can stay in the turkey while in the oven this is the time to use it! Roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 in the thigh. You can estimate about 10 minutes of cooking time per pound, but this is really just a guess. The only accurate way to cook poultry is by temperature.
Pull it out of the oven and turn the heat up to 375. When your oven is ready remove the foil from the turkey (but save it for later!) and place the bird back in until an internal temperature of 170 is reached and the skin has browned up a bit.
If you like your turkey really brown you can help it out by brushing it with a bit of honey and finishing it with your oven on the convection setting.
Remove from the heat, cover with foil and let it sit for 30-60 minutes before carving.

Check back next week for the basics on carving your Thanksgiving turkey.

Printer friendly recipe: Brined Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: An Updated Classic

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: An Updated Classic

Chef J has been making this delicious pecan pie for the family for almost a decade. It is his number one most requested holiday dish, and for good reason! Pecan pie is a classic staple on any Thanksgiving table, but this one will have your guests thinking, “well, maybe just one more slice!” You should probably make two, just to be safe. Take it away, Chef J!

The leaves are falling, the weather is cooling down, and the relatives will soon be arriving. With a house full of family, friends and lots of food it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit. And if the in-laws are visiting it might be time to get into the holiday spirits… So here is a recipe that gives you a good excuse to open a bottle of bourbon. It’s a proven fact that pecan pie is the best pie ever, but like I always say: chocolate makes it better! The bourbon lends a nice, rich, caramel flavor to the filling (don’t worry, the alcohol will cook out), and adding booze instead of water will give your pecan pie a flakier crust since it evaporates much faster.

Your family will rave about this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie and ask you to make to make it every year!

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Piepecan-pie-dough

Dough:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 oz butter, cubed & cold
  • 2 oz shortening, cold
  • 2 oz cold bourbon

Preheat your oven to 350.
In a food processor combine dry ingredients.
Add butter and shortening, pulse for about 10 seconds.
Slowly add the bourbon while mixing until everything pulls together into a ball.
Roll out the dough and press evenly into a pie dish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Perforate the dough and bake for 15 minutes.

Filling:pecan-pie-filling

  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 oz vanilla
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Combine all ingredients in a double boiler over low heat and cook until the chocolate has melted.
Pour filling over the pre-baked dough.
Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Give it a gentle shake after about 25 minutes; you don’t want too much jiggle!
Remove and let it cool completely before cutting. Top with more nuts and chocolate, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream!

Printer friendly recipe: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe

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