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Cooking With Rod

By Rod Cohenour

Happy New Year Cooking with mLady


(A couple of winners from my better half this month)

Nothing is more fun than cooking with as well as for the people you love. At this time of year we try to do it up in style. My wife came up with some incredibly delicious combinations for a big family get-together Thanksgiving 2011. Weve used it ever since. As the old saying goes, It dont get no better!

The combination of flavors the spices, the chile and the citrusy flavors enhanced by the seasonal delicacy of dried cranberries it is Heavenly! Folks who dont usually even like stuffing or dressing absolutely rave over this version. It is a special treat.

There is no reason these dishes MUST be reserved for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. Any large gathering deserves the special flavors imparted with this very sweet and spicy bird and its favored side kick!

Bon appetite! And Happy New Year!!

Ms Orange-Spicy Turkey


Created by Melinda Cohenour November 2011

Ingredients:

  • Large turkey, 20-24 lbs.
  • 1 lg Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (medium chop)
  • 3 stalks celery, de-stringed and chopped into thin slices
  • Orange zest, be sure to zest your orange before slicing
  • 1 large orange, remove peel after zesting, slice into thin slices
  • Butter or margarine, about 3 Tbsp. to moisten surface of the turkey
  • Sage, about 3 tablespoons
  • Parsley, about 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, 2 tsp.
  • Nutmeg, 1-2 tsp.
  • Garlic powder, 2 tsp.
  • Chile powder, 2 Tbsp.
  • Black pepper, about 1 tsp.
  • Salt (OPTIONAL) can substitute Mrs. Dash or omit entirely
  • 2 cans fat-free chicken broth

Directions:

    1. Turkey should be thawed, with gizzard pack and neck removed from cavity. Thoroughly rinse cavity and turkey, final rinse should be running crystal clear. Drain and pat exterior dry with paper towels.
    2. Using clean hands, loosen skin on breast of turkey. Insert the onion slices and the orange slices under the skin.
    3. Fill cavity of the turkey with remaining slices of onion, orange, bell pepper, celery and parsley. Sprinkle some of the sage into the cavity.
    4. Using clean hands, rub margarine or butter over all the surfaces of the turkey.
    5. Mix together in a small bowl all the spices (ground sage or chopped fresh, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, chile powder, black pepper). We do not use salt, but if you wish to do so, this is where you should add the salt to the spice rub. At our house we use Mrs. Dash or permit the spices to bring the flavor without salt.
    6. Rub all surfaces of the turkey with the spice mixture. Fold wings and tuck under to ensure even cooking. Bind turkey legs with twine.
    7. Sprinkle orange zest on breast of turkey.
    8. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan, uncovered into pre-heated oven at 400 F for 30-45 minutes. Lower heat to 325 F and continue roasting, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours. At this point you should cover the turkey breast and drumsticks to prevent them getting too dark. Continue to roast until cooked thoroughly. A 24 lb turkey, fully thawed, should be done in 4 to 5 hours. Oven temperatures vary, so be sure to keep watch and not let the bird burn!
    9. When done, lift turkey onto carving platter, remove and discard veggies and spices from cavity. Tent with aluminum foil and permit to rest.

To prepare the gravy: Pour up the turkey juices in a narrow glass container and place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to permit the fat to rise to the top. Skim this fat off, or use a specially made grease skimming cup. Add the cans of chicken broth to the turkey juices and heat to boiling. Season to your taste, add a paste of flour and water. Add this paste to the boiling liquid, reduce heat, stir constantly to make a delicious gravy.

For giblet gravy: You will have cooked the neck and organs from the gizzard pack along with celery, onion, parsley and sage. Cut up the gizzard meat, and neck meat (carefully scrape away from the bones) into a small bowl. When preparing your gravy, stir in one or two eggs so that the egg swirls into the gravy. Just before finishing, add in the neck and organ meats. Delicious!!


Orange-Spice Turkey


Ms Cran-Orange-Pecan Dressing


Created by Melinda Cohenour November 2011

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1 pkg or box bread stuffing mix (croutons)
  • Sage, about 3 tablespoons
  • Parsley, about 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon, dust over entire bowl about 2 tsps.
  • Nutmeg, dust about 1-2 tsps over mixture
  • Garlic powder (very little of this)
  • Black pepper, about 1 tsp.
  • 2 cans fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 lg Vidalia onion, chopped into fine pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped (medium chop)
  • 3 stalks celery, de-stringed and chopped into thin slices
  • 1 pkg dried Craisins
  • 1 large orange, cut membrane-free sections into small chunks
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Pecan pieces

Directions:

    Prepare baking pans by buttering lightly and setting aside to come to room temperature.
    Chop all veggies and set aside to add as needed. Prepare orange by removing whole sections and carefully removing seeds and membranes, chop into small triangles.
    Place stuffing contents into large bowl, season the dry ingredients well with spices. Pour chicken broth (use one can and add second as necessary to ensure the mixture does not get too soggy) over and permit to soften slightly. (You may add additional warm water if necessary to moisten the crumbs and bread pieces). Add chopped veggies, craisins, orange and pecan pieces. Beat eggs separately and add to mixture in bowl. Mix coarsely with hands.
    Press stuffing into prepared baking dishes.

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, or until stuffing is cooked through and has a nice brown appearance over the top.


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