Thursday, November 26, 2009


Courtesy America's Test Kitchen (.com)
Herbed Roast Turkey from the Episode: One Great ThanksgivingIf you have the time and the refrigerator space, air-drying produces extremely crisp skin and is worth the effort. After brining, rinsing, and patting the turkey dry, place the turkey breast side up on a flat wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, 8 to 24 hours. Proceed with the recipe. See below for adjustments for different sized turkeys.
Serves 10 to 12

Turkey and Brine
2 cups table salt
1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly; giblets and neck reserved for gravy (if making), and tailpiece removed

Herb Paste
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves (roughly chopped)
4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest , from 1 lemon
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

1. FOR THE TURKEY AND BRINE: Dissolve salt in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket. Add turkey and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours.
2. Remove turkey from brine and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Place turkey breast side up on flat wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 30 minutes. Alternatively, air-dry turkey (see note above).
3. FOR THE HERB PASTE: Process parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in food processor until consistency of coarse paste, ten 2-second pulses. Add mustard and olive oil; continue to process until mixture forms smooth paste, ten to twelve 2-second pulses; scrape sides of processor bowl with rubber spatula after 5 pulses. Transfer mixture to small bowl.
4. TO PREPARE THE TURKEY: Adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil; set V-rack in large roasting pan. Remove turkey from refrigerator and wipe away any water collected in baking sheet; set turkey breast side up on baking sheet. Tuck wings behind back and tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure.
5. Using hands, carefully loosen skin from meat of breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Using spoon, slip 1 1/2 tablespoons paste under breast skin on each side of turkey. Using fingers, distribute paste under skin over breast, thigh, and drumstick meat.
6. Using sharp paring knife, cut 1 1/2-inch vertical slit into thickest part of each breast. Starting from top of incision, swing knife tip down to create 4- to 5-inch pocket within flesh. Place 1 tablespoon paste in pocket of each breast; using fingers, rub in thin, even layer.
7. Rub 1 tablespoon paste inside turkey cavity. Rotate turkey breast side down; apply half remaining herb paste to turkey skin; flip turkey breast side up and apply remaining herb paste to skin, pressing and patting to make paste adhere; reapply herb paste that falls onto baking sheet.
8. TO ROAST THE TURKEY: Place turkey breast side down on prepared V-rack in roasting pan. Roast 45 minutes.
9. Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat). Using clean potholders (or wad of paper towels), rotate turkey breast side up. Continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes longer. (Confirm temperature by inserting thermometer in both sides of bird.) Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes. Carve turkey and serve.
10. If roasting a 14- to 18-pound bird, increase all of the ingredients for the herb paste (except the black pepper) by 50 percent; follow the instructions for applying the paste under the skin, in the breast pockets, and in the cavity; use the remaining paste on the skin. Increase the second half of the roasting time (breast side up) to 1 hour, 15 minutes.
11. If roasting an 18- to 22-pound bird, double all of the ingredients for the herb paste except the black pepper; apply 2 tablespoons paste under the skin on each side of the turkey, 1 1/2 tablespoons paste in each breast pocket, 2 tablespoons inside the cavity, and the remaining paste on the turkey skin. Roast breast side down at 425 degrees for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, rotate the turkey breast side up, and continue to roast for about 2 hours. Let rest 35 to 40 minutes before carving. Step-by-Step: Steps to Serious Herb Flavor
LOOSEN: Carefully separate skin from meat on breast, thigh, and drumstick areas.
RUB: Rub herb paste under skin and directly onto flesh, distributing it evenly.
STAB AND SWEEP: Make 1 1/2-inch slit in each breast. Swing knife tip through breast to create large pocket.

STUFF: Place thin layer of paste inside each pocket.
MASSAGE: Rub remaining paste inside turkey cavity and on skin.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Honey-Curry Chicken

This is it. This is the dish that made me fall in love with Kulani. It's an old recipe his sister got from a roommate, and it was later incorporated into the Fisher family dinners. It's cheap and easy, sort-of like me (only, what do you think I mean by the word "easy," because if you think it's EASY, easy, you'd be wrong. If you think, "low-maintenance kind-of girl," you'd be right).

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes or less

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 to 3 pounds (8-9 pieces) of chicken thighs or legs or both. Other pieces of chicken also work, but bone-in is preferred. Skin can be left on or removed.
1 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard (yellow preferably. I've never tried it with any other, but you could give it a shot.)
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 cup melted butter
Salt to taste

In a bowl, combine the honey, mustard, curry powder, and melted butter. Set aside. Place the chicken in a cake or casserole pan. Salt (and pepper, if you like) the chicken on both sides. Pour the honey-curry mixture over the chicken in the pan. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the chicken for a half hour, then flip the chicken over and bake for an additional half hour or until the chicken is done (may be less time). Serve with rice, and pour the honey-curry drippings over the rice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Country Pate, Take 1

0.75 C Brandy
3 T unsalted butter
1 C minced onion
2.5 lb ground pork
12 oz bacon, finaly chopped plus 14 bacon slices for lining pan
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2.5t salt
2.5t dried thyme
1.5t allspice
1t freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
0.5 C whipping cream
1 6-ouz piece ham steak, cut crosswise into 1/4" thick strips
Coarse Sea Salt
Dijon Mustard

Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 350F. Boil brandy until reduced to 0.5 cup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

Melt Butter in heaven medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent but not brown, about 8 minutes.

Combine ground pork and chopped bacon in large bowl. Using fork or fingertips, mix together until well blended. Add sauteed onion, garlic, 2.5t salt, thyme, allspice, and pepper to bowl with pork mixture and stir until incorporated. Add eggs, cream, and reduced brandy, stir until well blended.

Line 9x3x5 inch metal loaf pan with bacon slices, arranging 8 slices across width and 3 slices on each short side of pan and overlapping pan on all sides. Using hands, lightly and evenly press half of meat onto bottom of pan. Arrange ham strips over single layer, top with remaining meat mixture.

Fold bacon slides over, covering pate. Put the loaf pan in a water boiling water bath halfway up sides and bake until thermometer registers 155 (about 2:15).

Remove loaf pan and transfer to rimmed baking sheet. Place heavy skillet atop pate (or 2-3 cans) to weight down. Chill overnight.