CITRUS BRINED ROAST TURKEY & GRAVY

CITRUS BRINED ROAST TURKEY & GRAVY adapted from Pioneer woman
Prep Time: 24 hours 45 mins

BRINE
5 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, minced
Peel of 3 oranges, plus 1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
3 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3 tablespoons tri-color peppercorns

  • Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot with 2 gallons cold water stirring until the sugar and salt COMPLETELY dissolve.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Pour the cooled brine into a large brining bag or pot.
  • Add the turkey and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.

 

  • When ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine.
  • Submerge the turkey in a pot of fresh cold water.
  • Allow to sit in the clean water for 15 minutes to remove the excess salt.

TURKEY
18-20 pound turkey (reserve the giblets and neck for the gravy)
2 oranges, zested and juiced RESERVE zest and 2nd orange
1 lemon, zested and juiced RESERVE zest
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Thyme leaves, plus 4 to 5 sprigs (2 for garnish)
2 tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Tarragon leaves, plus 4-5 sprigs (2 for garnish)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 cups homemade chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine

  • Preheat the oven to 275 ̊.
  • Remove the turkey from the water, pat dry and place breast-side up on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add juice from 1 lemon and 1 orange to the turkey cavity.
  • Cover with heavy duty foil.
  • Roast 10 minutes per pound.
  • Remove turkey from oven and increase the heat to 325 ̊. Discard foil. Don’t worry that the turkey is so pale!

 

  • Combine the butter, thyme leaves, tarragon leaves, salt and pepper in a bowl until well blended.
  • Smear the butter mixture all over the skin and into the crevices so that the turkey is totally covered.
  • Slice the reserved orange into wedges and place in the cavity of the turkey along with 3 each of the thyme and tarragon sprigs.
  • Cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen twine.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh behind the leg joint.
  • Pour the chicken broth and wine into the bottom of the pan.
  • Roast for 5-7 minutes per pound, basting the turkey every 30 minutes, until the thermometer reads 165 ̊.
  • Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  • Save the drippings for gravy.

GIBLET GRAVY

Giblet pieces and neck, saved from the uncooked turkey
Drippings from roasted turkey
1/2 cup WONDRA flour (more if needed)
4 cups no-sodium chicken or turkey broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon each FRESH chopped Tarragon and Thyme leaves

  • In a small saucepan cover the giblets and neck with water by 2 inches.
  • Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour to cook meat and create the broth for the gravy.
  • Remove the giblets and neck from the broth and set aside to be chopped into sell pieces when cool enough to touch.
  • Set the broth in the saucepan aside for later.

 

While the turkey is resting pour all the drippings from the turkey roasting pan into a bowl and let the drippings sit and separate naturally, then use a ladle to carefully separate the fat from the liquid drippings (the fat will be on top, while the drippings will settle at the bottom).

  • When ready to make the gravy, return the pan to the stove over medium low flame.
  • Add 1 cup of the fat to the pan.
  • Sprinkle the flour all over the fat and immediately begin whisking it around to make a smooth roux that is not too oily or pasty by adding more fat or flour as necessary.
  • Whisk it slowly for a few minutes, allowing it to cook to a deep golden brown color.
  • Once the roux is ready, pour in 1 cup of the drippings (the gel from under the fat) and the chicken or turkey broth, whisking constantly, cooking 7-8 minutes until thickened.

 

  • While gravy is simmering, use your fingers to remove as much of the neck meat as you can and chop up the giblets into fine pieces.
  • Add as much of the meat to the gravy as you desire.
  • If the gravy seems too thick, add more broth and/or a little of the reserved giblet broth (the water used to cook the giblets.)
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.

To complete our Thanksgiving meal I also traditionally make Sourdough Oatnut herb dressing, Homemade Cranberry Sauce and our Family Favorite Mashed Potatoes.

BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN & PEA MEDLEY

Casual? Elegant? A little bit of both which makes it perfect for serving company. This recipe was originally written using chicken thighs, but I prefer thin cut chicken breast steaks. As always I made the recipe in its entirety as written the first time through and then made the necessary changes to make it even better, in our opinion.  It needed more “sauce” so I added the chicken broth and flour to create more of a gravy.  I also added the thin slice of provolone to give the chicken inside a bit of oomph. The recipe also had you starting the chicken on the stove and then moving the pan to the oven.  I found that the bacon crisps up better when cooked entirely in the oven where the grease drained off into the baking sheet.

BACON WRAPPED CHICKEN & PEA MEDLEY
4-6 boneless, skinless thin cut chicken steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4-6 slice provolone cheese
8-12 bacon slices, not too thick
1 teaspoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 shallot, sliced
2-3 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 can LeSeur peas, drained
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme

  • Preheat oven 400°.
  • Generously season chicken steaks on both sides.
  • Roll each chicken steak up with a slice of Provolone cheese on the inside and wrap with 2-3 slices of bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  • Place chicken breasts on a wire rack on a baking sheet
  • Place baking sheet in oven for 25 minutes while you prep the snap peas.
  • Remove baking sheet from oven, remove toothpicks and transfer chicken to serving platter to keep warm.
  • Heat avocado oil in an enameled cast iron pan over medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • Add shallots, cooking 2-3 minutes.
  • Add sugar snap peas, stirring occasionally 5-7 until tender.
  • Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend.
  • Stir in broth and thyme, cooking several minutes.
  • Add heavy cream and cook several minutes until it begins to thicken.
  • With a slotted spoon transfer the peas and shallots to the platter.
  • Drizzle sauce over chicken breasts.
  • Garnish with additional thyme if desired.

NOTE: To change the flavor profile a bit try using different herbs, tarragon, dill etc…

VODKA CHICKEN POMODORO (VODKA TOMATO CHICKEN)

The word pomodoro or Pomo d’oro is Italian for tomato, or more specifically “golden apple”. LOL 😀 that is about all that is actually Italian about this recipe! Yet another possible origin of the word is derived from the aphrodisiac qualities in the french translation pomme d’amour, the love apple.

While researching the word pomodoro, I found that tomatoes aren’t even indigenous to Italy, meaning they weren’t originally Italian, though they are a staple in the Italian kitchen of today!  Tomatoes were first discovered in Central America, but made their way to Italy in the late 15th century and because the growing conditions were ideal for tomatoes Italy became a prominent tomato region making tomatoes a staple in Italian kitchens and Mediterranean recipes!

According to Il Pomodoro Italiano, “The Italian Tomato”, there are over 320 different variations of the tomato. The beautiful golden tomatoes (Pomo d’oro) tend to have a sweeter taste and have a low sugar and acid content. For more information on the varieties of Italian tomatoes check out Delicious Italy.

VODKA CHICKEN POMODORO
4 boneless, skinless chicken steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
garlic salt
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup QUALITY Vodka
1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped tarragon
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • GENEROUSLY season chicken steaks with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and garlic salt.
  • Heat large skillet over medium heat and melt butter.
  • Dredge chicken steaks in flour and add to skillet.
  • Saute; chicken steaks 3-4 minutes per side until JUST cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.
  • Deglaze pan with vodka and cook 1-2 minutes until alcohol is cooked off.
  • Add onions to pan, stirring 30 seconds or so.
  • Add chicken broth, lemon juice and tarragon, blending well.
  • Add cream, stirring to blend before adding tomatoes and returning the chicken to pan, turning to coat.
  • Heat through and serve with your favorite rice or mashed potatoes ad sauce drizzled over top.

CHICKEN NEW ORLEANS

I first saw this recipe for Chicken Lazone Pasta on Facebook and it looked mouth wateringly yummy, that I had to know more. As I began researching the original name, I found several different people had made versions, (some attributing it to Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans) that were great on their own, but it was when I married the best parts of both recipes together that I found my version to be fantastic and Chicken New Orleans was born. It really is a restaurant quality meal made at home with a rich, full bodied and full flavored creamy sauce.

One recipe used chicken tenders and another used full chicken breasts. I settled on thin cut chicken steaks as middle ground. One used granulated garlic and another FRESH garlic. I cut down the proportions of both and prefer the mixed flavor mediums. I also cut down the Creole seasoning a bit and increased the FRESH herbs. One called for linguine and another for fettuccine, but honestly any pasta you choose works well. I like Farfalle and Campagnelle, but I use what I have on hand. I also use WONDRA flour instead of all purpose because it is much finer and makes a smoother sauce.

CHICKEN NEW ORLEANS adapted from What’s in the Pan  and Slow Roasted Italian

Prep Time10 mins Cook Time20 mins Total Time30 mins
SEASONING
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons SLAP YOUR MAMA seasoning
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup WONDRA flour

  • In a large ziploc bag, combine FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper, SLAP YOUR MAMA, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and flour.


CHICKEN
4-6 thin chicken steaks
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter

  • Dredge the chicken in the seasoning mixture and shake off excess. Reserve any leftover spice/flour mix for the sauce.
  • Preheat large cast iron skillet.
  • Add avocado oil and melt butter over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the chicken steaks 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

PASTA
1/2-3/4 pound pasta
1/4-1/2 cup Pasta water (reserve it)

  • Boil pasta in salty water, drain, but do not rinse.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. If you think the sauce needs thinning, add reserved pasta water to the sauce. Add it slow – as much as you would like to have according to your liking.

SAUCE
4 tablespoons butter
Remaining seasoning mixture
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1-2 teaspoons smoked Paprika
2 cups heavy cream

  • Add butter to the empty skillet and add remaining seasoning mixture into the butter until cook it until golden and flour is no longer raw.
  • Add more paprika and heavy cream into the skillet.
  • Add MOST of the FRESH herbs to the sauce, but reserve a bit for garnish.
  • Bring to a SLOW boiling point.
  • Lower heat and simmer 3-4 minutes.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to your liking.

  • Add cooked pasta into the sauce and stir until fully coated.
  • Return chicken to the skillet, turning to coat with sauce well.
  • Sprinkle with remaining chopped herbs.

CHARRED APRICOT RASPBERRY WHISKEY WINGS

CHARRED APRICOT RASPBERRY WHISKEY WINGS
3/4 cup QUALITY (Bonne Mamam) raspberry apricot preserves
3 tablespoons Seagrams 7
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
2 tablespoons BRAGG’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon GO CHU CHANG
1 small 6 ounce can pineapple juice
2 1/2-3 pounds chicken wings and/or drumettes

  • Whisk together everything except the chicken in a LARGE bowl. Set aside 3/4 cup for later.
  • Add chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours.

 

  • Heat grill to medium low.
  • Toss chicken once again before laying on grill in a single layer.
  • Grill 10 minutes.
  • Flip and grill 10-15 minutes more until cooked through.
  • Toss with reserved sauce before serving.

I LOVE to serve these with CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE!

 

BAKED SOUR CREAM CHICKEN

I couldn’t get a great picture, but oh my the flavor of this is so very good and it is one of the easiest recipes ever!

BAKED SOUR CREAM CHICKEN
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1 can Campbell’s Tomato soup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat 8-9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the soup, sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire with the
  • FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and paprika.
  • Fold in the Italian blend cheese.
  • Add chicken pieces and coat well.
  • Pour into baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes.
  • Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered another 15 minutes.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

VINEGAR CHICKEN

I found this recipe in an old drawer of grams. It was originally written for bone-in chicken pieces, but hubby hates when I cook with bone-in so I have adapted it to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also change up the flavor by using flavored vinegars.  Tonight I used the rest of our coconut pineapple vinegar and it was awesome!

VINEGAR CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
KOSHER salt
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup crisp white wine
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons FRESH, FINELY chopped tarragon leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • GENEROUSLY season the chicken with KOSHER salt, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before you begin preparation.

 

  • Add flour to a shallow bowl for dredging.
  • Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet and melt over medium high heat.
  • Dredge chicken pieces and add to skillet.
  • Sear the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and JUST cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to platter, cover with foil and discard most of the oil from the skillet.
  • Return skillet to the heat and add the onions to the skillet, seasoning to taste with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cook onions, stirring occasionally 15-20 minutes until onions are tender and beginning to caramelize.
  • Increase heat to high.
  • Add wine and vinegar, de-glazing the pan and scrapping up all the little bits.
  • Add half the tarragon, stirring to blend.
  • Lower the heat, set lid ajar on the skillet and simmer 10-12 minutes.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and simmering a few minutes more, turning the chicken pieces to coat in the sauce.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to a platter.
  • Increase heat again and add heavy cream letting sauce simmer and thicken to a desired consistency.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more vinegar if you like it a bit more tart.
  • Add remaining tarragon in the final stir.
  • Spoon sauce over chicken and serve with mashed potatoes.

updated CHICKEN CONTINENTAL

Chicken Continental as a recipe appears to be a collaboration from Campbell’s soup and Minute Rice during the 1960’s, an era of combining ‘prepared’ foods to form casseroles as your main meal.  Casseroles as a whole obviously go back MUCH further, but were usually made with scratch ingredients or bits of leftovers. I have found cookbooks on pinterest and google with the recipes, but I have grams old card with the Campbell’s label recipe on one side and a portion of a Minute Rice box cut out on the other.

Either way, I wanted to bring the recipe into the 21st century with using boneless, skinless chicken and FRESHer ingredients to spice it up a bit while maintaining the integrity of the original flavor base of the recipe.

updated CHICKEN CONTINENTAL
4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2-3 bacon slices, cooked crisp, drippings reserved
8 ounces FRESH sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, strings removed, diced
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Parsley
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice (uncooked)
1 can Campbell’s Tomato soup
1 cup chicken broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken breasts in flour and set aside.

  • Add  1 tablespoon of butter and oil to the bacon drippings in a large skillet.
  • Add celery and onions, sauteing lightly until softened.
  • Add mushrooms, thyme and parsley, cooking a couple minutes more until mushrooms begin to caramelize.
  • Add chicken broth and soup, blending together and bring to a boil.
  • Pour all but 1/2 cup into a large mixing bowl and stir in rice. Cover with a plate and set aside.
  • Return skillet to stove and add last tablespoon of butter to melt.
  • Add chicken pieces and sear 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Arrange rice mixture into the bottom of a prepared baking dish.
  • Nestle chicken breasts into rice.
  • Top with remaining sauce.
  • Cover and bake 20 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through.

NOTE:  Hubby hates mushrooms, but I love them so I makes them “separately” and add them to just mine. 😀

SPIKED LEMONADE CHICKEN

I adapted this recipe from a postcard I picked up at a farmer’s market. The original recipe called for their Jalapeno wine which is super expensive and only available by mail since I was traveling and a day and a half from home, hence the adaptation. 😀

The recipe originally called for using the grill, but I also adapted it to the oven and we’re quite happy with it.

SPIKED LEMONADE CHICKEN
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
12 ounce frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
4 ounce can chopped green chilies, DRAINED juice reserved
12 ounces crisp white wine
8-10 strips bacon
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Combine the thawed lemonade concentrate, wine and juice from green chilies in a large ziploc bag.
  • Add chicken pieces and turn to coat. Marinate 8 hours.

 

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • In a large skillet cook bacon 3-5 minutes to render off most of the fat, but so that bacon slices are still soft and pliable. Cool several minutes until cool to the touch.
  • Line baking pan with silicone mat or foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Drain off marinade.
  • Lay chicken pieces out and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange shredded cheese and green chilies evenly on chicken breasts.
  • Fold close and wrap each chicken breast tightly with 2 pieces of bacon and secure closed with toothpicks.
  • Arrange chicken pieces on baking sheet.
  • Bake 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and bacon is crisp.
  • Remove from oven and cover with foil to rest for 8-10 minutes.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

This is one of those recipes that I cut out, but have NO idea from where 😀  It was really good and I made very few changes to the original recipe.

I did make it with a caramelized Cabbage that I think next time I will place under the chicken before baking to make it a one-pan dish and add extra flavor to the cabbage.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
4-6 6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

15 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained WELL and chopped
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup mayonnaise (NOT low-fat)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line baking dish with foil or spray with non-stick spray.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange chicken in bottom of baking dish.
  • Stir together the remaining ingredients and spread over chicken pieces,
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

NOTE:  I start draining the artichoke hearts about an hour before I begin cooking.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER – CROCK POT STYLE

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER – CROCK POT STYLE  serves 8-10

1/4 cup butter
3 pounds golden potatoes, washed and diced
1/2 LARGE Vidalia onion, diced
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken broth, preferably FRESH made
20 ounces frozen corn
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish

  • Spray LARGE crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cube butter into bottom of crock pot.
  • Add potatoes and corn, stirring to combine.
  • Pour in chicken broth, cover ad cook on high 4 hours.
  • Whisk together cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Stir slurry into soup.
  • Gently stir in cream, recover and cook another 20-30 minutes until soup has thickened.
  • Fold in chicken pieces cooking another 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
  • Serve warm with Parmesan Cheddar biscuits.
  • Garnish with green onions, bacon pieces and shredded cheese.

water

BUFFALO CHICKEN MONKEY BREAD – UPDATED

I LOVE this updated version of Buffalo Chicken Monkey Bread.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MONKEY BREAD adapted from Pillsbury
2 cans (7.5 oz each) Pillsbury™ Country Style® refrigerated biscuits
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 + 1/4 cup Frank’s Original Hot sauce
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, crumbled very small 
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
3 tablespoons cup butter, melted
Savory Spice Tableside Garlic Sprinkle or McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Sprinkle
Additional ranch dressing for dipping

  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • LIGHTLY spray 12-cup bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
  • In medium bowl, toss chicken with 1/2 cup of the buffalo wing sauce until well coated; set aside.
  • Cut 5 biscuits into thirds to make a total of 15 pieces.
  • With your hands press and str3etch each piece slightly to make dough round.
  • Place 1 teaspoon of cheese in the center of each round.
  • Enclose cheese by bringing sides of dough up and over, pinching the dough to seal and enclose the cheese.
  • With remaining 11 biscuits, press and stretch each into larger rounds.
  • Place 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture in the center of each round.
  • Enclose chicken by bringing sides of dough up and over, pinching the dough to seal and enclose the chicken.
  • Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce in bottom of tube cake pan; drizzle 2 tablespoons ranch dressing over sauce.
  • Dip each ball of dough into melted butter; layer loosely in pan, alternating to vary sizes. 
  • Roll each ball in  Savory Spice Shop Tableside Garlic Sprinkle or McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb Sprinkle.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until tops of balls are golden brown. 
  • Cool in pan the slightly, about 5 minutes. 
  • Place serving plate upside down over pan; carefully invert to plate. Remove pan. 
  • Serve bread with additional ranch dressing for dipping.

NOTES: You can simplify the process by cutting each piece of dough in half and adding cheese and chicken to each dough piece.