Roasted Turkey

Festive celebration roasted turkey for Thanksgiving

330px-Squantoteaching.pngAmerica owes it’s tradition of the Thanksgiving feast to a man named Tisquantum (c. 1585?- 1622), more commonly known as Squanto. He was a member of the Patuxet tribe and is best known for being an early liaison between the native populations in Southern New England and the Mayflower Pilgrims. As a child, Squanto was been kidnapped by an English sea captain named Thomas Hunt and was sold into slavery in the city of Málaga, Spain. Squanto was among a number of captives bought by local monks who focused on their education and evangelization, and as a result, he learned to speak Spanish, French and English.

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Málaga in 1572, forty years before Squanto was delivered there in slavery.

Squanto eventually traveled to England and from there returned to North America in 1619, only to find that his village and tribe had been wiped out by an epidemic infection, making Squanto the last of the Patuxet.

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When the Mayflower landed in 1620, Squanto was one of the first Native Americans the members of the Plymouth colony encountered. As a diplomat, he worked to broker peaceable relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. He played a key role in the early meetings in March 1621, partly because he spoke English. He then lived with the Pilgrims for two years, acting as a translator, guide, and advisor. During this time, he also saved the colony from starvation by teaching the settlers how to sow, plant and fertilize native crops—including corn and squash, which proved vital since the seeds which the Pilgrims had brought from England largely failed. He also taught the settlers how to fish and how to tap maple trees for their sweet sap.

Because of Squanto’s central role in the survival of the Plymouth colony, a feast was held to commemorate the event. It was referred to at the time as “The Harvest Celebration of 1621” and is considered to be the first Thanksgiving that took place in the colony. From historical journals, the menu at the first Thanksgiving celebration between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag consisted of wild game that included venison, goose, duck, pigeon, and turkey, seafood such as mussels, clams, oysters, lobsters, bass, and eels. A combination of wild and cultivated crops including chestnuts, walnuts, squash, beans, and dishes made from dried corn was also been served.

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients:

For the Brine:
One 12 to 14-pound turkey
2 ½ cups kosher salt, plus more if needed
1 cup white sugar
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked, more as needed
3 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme and sage

For the Turkey:
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
½ lemon
1 stick of unsalted butter, sliced for basting

For the Gravy:
1 cup defatted pan juices from the roasted turkey
1 cup chicken stock

Directions:

Remove the turkey from the packaging and rinse under cold water.

Place the turkey on a rack in its roasting pan and prepare the brine.

For the brine, combine the salt, sugar, bay leaves, pepper rosemary, thyme, sage marjoram with 2 1/2 gallons water in a large 4 to 6 gallon container or cooler large enough to hold turkey comfortably. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Place the turkey in brining solution and refrigerate or ice overnight.

The following day, prepare to cook the turkey.

Pre heat oven to 425 º F.

Remove the turkey from brining solution; drain well and pat very dry with clean paper towels. Discard brine. Set the turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack set into a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper, then fill the cavity with onion, celery, carrots and lemon. Fold wings under the bird. Truss the turkey up by the legs using kitchen twine. Roast the turkey for 35 minutes, basting with butter every 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 o F and roast approximately 3 hours more, basting bird every 30 minutes with drippings and butter. If the breast of the turkey is browning to quickly , tent the bird with aluminum foil , until and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165 o F.

Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Pour the pan drippings into a large Pyrex measuring cup and allow to it stand to allow the fat to rise to top.

Meanwhile, make a gravy from the pan drippings.

Discarding any solid vegetables used in roasting the main meat dish, pour the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and let stand for 10 minutes. Skim off any fat that forms on the surface. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and pour in the fat/grease free pan juices, then the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour into a gravy boat.

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Florentine Butter Chicken

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Photo Credit: Greg DuPree, Food & Wine Magazine, 2019.
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This recipe is inspired by Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis’ trip to 150-year-old Trattoria Sostanza in Florence. The chicken is cooked in a combination of cultured butter and olive oil. Cultured butter has a higher butterfat content, with a slight tang from those cultures. The butterfat gives cultured butter a slightly higher smoke point and, when combined with olive oil, gives enough cooking time to finish the chicken and the sauce simultaneously. If the butter is darkening too quickly, remove it from the heat and continue to baste with the hot butter.

 

And I have to add, this recipe made for the most spoon tender and moist chicken breast that you will ever encounter.It’s like having a taste of Tuscany in your own kitchen in 30 minutes or less.

Recipe by
Hunter Lewis, Editor in Chief
Food & Wine Magazine
September 2019

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Two 7-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) cold salted cultured butter (such as Vermont Creamery), cut into pieces, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon slices, for garnish
Sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Place beaten egg in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Spread flour in a separate shallow bowl or pie plate. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working with 1 breast at a time, dip chicken in egg, letting any excess drip back into bowl, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess.

Melt 1/4 cup butter with oil in a 10-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high, and cook, swirling occasionally, until milk solids begin to sink to bottom of skillet and start to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chicken, rounded sides down, and cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn chicken over, and add remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Tilt skillet toward you so butter pools, and cook, basting chicken often, until chicken is just cooked through and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and carefully pour in lemon juice. Note: the butter will start to bubble and brown.

Using a spatula place the chicken breast in the middle of the plate and garnish with lemon slices and parsley.Serve immediately.

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

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A Minestra: A Corsican Bean Soup

Corsican Bean Soup Recipe
Photo Credit: Greg DuPree,Food & Wine Magazine, 2019.

There is a Corsican saying, “Eat your soup—or jump out the window,” which sounds better in Corsican, “O mangia a minestra, o salta a fenestra,” as it has the advantage of rhyming. What it actually means is “Put up with it or shut up.”

It also illustrates the importance of soup in the daily diet of Corsicans up until the middle of last century. Each region and each season had its own soup made of pulses or fresh vegetables, meat or fish, often thickened with bread, rice or pasta. Served before cheese and fruit, it often constituted the evening meal.

This traditional soup is the quintessential, true Corsican meal and is called  “A Minestra,” or in French Soupe Corse or Soupe Paysanne. There are as many different variations as there are Corsican villages. It is a simple rustic dish and  is rarely served in restaurants, but it is what you will  eat when you’re invited to a Corsican’s home to share a simple meal. Most Corsicans in the  villages eat Minestra nearly daily for dinner. What goes into the soup is seasonal and varies depending on what grows locally and the home cook has on hand, but it  almost always includes dried beans, onions and carrots. A ham bone or the trimmings of a smoked ham  are added to give  flavour. Ask your local butcher or at the delicatessen counter for end pieces of ham or bacon. Herbs are also important in making this soup. You can choose from marjoram, sage, sorrel and parsley , but it is recommended not use all the herbs listed here.

This version is full of hearty winter vegetables and pork, making this  comforting soup so filling without being heavy on the stomach.When prepared as a lunch rather than a dinner, it’s made the night before and served cold the next day. Dried beans are the key to the satisfying richness of the broth; if you want to use canned red or white beans to save time, drain and rinse them and then stir them in at the end of cooking.

 

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:

8 ounces dried cannellini beans
2 tablespoons olive
1 small green cabbage, chopped
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
4 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard
2 medium leeks, white parts only, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
7 cups water
7 cups chicken broth
1 bouquet garni
One 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1 ham bone
8 ounces pork cheek or boneless pork shoulder

Directions:

If you are using dry beans, place them in a bowl; add cold water to cover. Cover bowl; let soak  overnight.

The following day, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high; add cabbage, potatoes, chard, leeks, carrots, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the water and chicken broth to cover vegetable mixture. Reduce heat to low, and simmer gently while preparing beans.

Meanwhile, drain beans. Transfer beans to a large pot; add water to cover by 2 inches. Add bouquet garni; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes. Drain.

Add drained beans and bouquet garni to vegetable mixture in Dutch oven. Add tomatoes, ham bone, and pork cheek. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans and vegetables are very tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove and discard bouquet garni and ham bone. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with a crusty rustic bread.

Cook’s Notes:

To make a bouquet garni, take 1 bay leaf, 2 thyme sprigs, and 3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, tied and tie the together with kitchen twine.

This soup may be prepared up to 3 days ahead.

Source:

Clark Z. Terry. (2012).”Minestra – Traditional Corsican Soup”. Inspiring Thirst. Accessed September 24, 2019.
https://www.kermitlynch.com/blog/2012/02/09/minestra-traditional-corsican-soup/

Hello Friends!

All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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