Thursday, December 5, 2013

Yummy time of year!

So much for keeping the blog up to date.  My bad. 

The weather in Southern Arizona has been so spectacular up until now that I've spent every moment I could out playing in the dirt.  

But yesterday I gave in and took some pictures of my flowers, since we're expecting a freeze tonight, and they might not be smiling so much tomorrow!

Meanwhile, of course, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and of course I took in some strays and made yummy in the kitchen!!

Here's our menu!

The Maple Glazed Turkey with Date and Port Sauce has been one of my favorite recipes for the holidays for years.

I brined the little devil (big devil!) overnight with Hawaiian Sea Salt, Turbinado Raw Sugar, Tarragon and Thyme.  About a cup each of salt and sugar in enough water to cover the birdie in a big trashbag, squished up to get most of the air out.  

Then ...

Maple Glazed Turkey
with dates and port sauce

5 T olive oil
2 lbs chicken wings
3 C chopped onions
1 ½ C chopped carrots
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 C port (I used half-half red port and good port)
4 C chicken stock
12 lrg dates, chopped

1 - 17 lb. Turkey, thawed, giblets removed
½ C maple syrup
½ C shallots, chopped
1 T fresh tarragon

Heat 1 T oil in large pot over high heat. Add chicken wings and brown, about 20 minutes. Add onions and carrots and saute til brown, about 10 minutes. Add thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf. Add port and boil til reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 ½ hours. Strain into sauce pan. Boil until reduced to 1 ¼ C. Add dates, cover and simmer 2 minutes.

Place turkey in large roasting pan. Mix maple syrup, shallots, tarragon and remaining 4 T oil in small boil. Brush over the bird. Let stand for one hour.  Brush any remaining maple syrup sauce over him again.

Bake at 325, about 15 minutes per pound. Spoon sauce over turkey, slice and serve, with extra sauce on the side as gravy.

He was melt in your mouth sweet and juicy, and the skin was to savor like candy!!  Don't trust the little pop-up thingy.  Go for about 165 degrees in the breast meat so he doesn't dry out.

That recipe works great with game hens too - gorgeous presentation!  You would cook them for about 45 minutes at 425.  Big game hens - the ones that COSTCO carries!!

A couple days later I made a great 'clean the refrigerator' soup out of the left-over gravy and broth from cooking up the giblets, turkey of course, chopped up turkey and apple sausage, leftover green bean casserole and some barley, kidney beans and macaroni pasta, and spicy Rotel tomatoes!  

Love hearty soups on a dreary winter day!!

Now Christmas is fast approaching, so with help from my so very sweet neighbor Richard, I hung my outside Christmas lights before the rains hit last night!

Now it's time to think about decorating inside the house, since it's too nasty to go outside!  

At least according to Ms Misha, who doesn't like to get her feet wet!


At 8:44 AM , Anonymous Arvee said...

You, being the most extravagant of authors, chefs, hostesses and photographers have outdone yourself again. I'll just have to snatch your turkey day menu and forward it to my friends. :)


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