Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots

When we began our tradition of having PTGTG (Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving) 4 years ago it was because as family traditions go, things change as families grow and since my brother and sister-in-law were planning to go to Atlanta for Thanksgiving to be with Maggie's family, we thought we would just have our own Thanksgiving dinner before they left.  

We invited a couple friends whose families lived out of state and tried recipes we would never try on Thanksgiving day since those recipe are staples that cannot be messed with under any circumstances!  It was so much fun that we decided to do it again the following year and wanted to include more of our friends since they are blessing for which we are certainly most grateful!

Our tables and spreads have grown over the years and this weekend we had a house filled with love, laughter, family and friends.....the true essence of Thanksgiving in my mind!

We always have a friend turkey for PTGTG but I usually roast one as well so that we can have the drippings for gravy.  When I came across this recipe I thought it sounded perfect so I gave it a shot and it was delicious!

If you are looking for something different this Thanksgiving when it comes to the big bird, I would say in a heartbeat that this would be a great recipe to try!

The gravy was superb as well!

Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine.

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 15-to-16 pound turkey
Salt and pepper to season cavity
1 1/4 lb. shallots, peeled and cut in half through the root
1 carrot, unpeeled
1 large celery stalk, cut in half crosswise
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
3 cups (approximately) chicken broth

I brined the turkey overnight in the following mix I bought at the grocery....it included the bringing bag and everything!  SCORE!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium-sized bowl, mix together softened butter, sage, thyme and parsley until well combined.  Remove the neck and other innards from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.

Place the carrot, celery and onion quarters into the cavity of the turkey.  Tie the turkey legs together and tuck the wings underneath the turkey, using small skewers to secure, if necessary.  Starting at the neck end, slide your hands under the breast skin to loosen. Smear 3 tablespoons of the herb butter underneath the breast skin. Smear another 4 tablespoons of the herb butter over the entire topside of the turkey.

Place the turkey in the roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the shallots around the turkey, on
the bottom of the roasting pan.  Cover the breasts with foil and place the turkey in the oven. Roast the turkey for 2 hours,  Basting it with 1/2 cup chicken broth every 30 minutes.

Remove the foil from the breast. If you find that the legs are browning too much, cover each drumstick with foil. Roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh (be sure not to hit the bone) registers 170 degrees F, basting every 30 minutes with the pan
drippings, about 1 hour total.

Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes
before carving. Remove the carrot, celery and onion from the cavity and discard.  Remove the shallots from the pan and serve with the gravy. Use the remaining brown bits on the bottom of the pan and the remaining herb butter to make the gravy
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Sometimes I find it challenging to figure out the best recipe to cook for a casual dinner with friends that will not require me to be in the kitchen the entire time thus not being able to visit with my guests, but also be something that tastes like it came out of the freezer.

When a friend of mine sent me this recipe it solved both of those problems.  It took me 20 minutes to make and was the perfect accompaniment to a cool fall night with a table full of crafts to follow!

Spicy Sausage Pasta
recipe from www.kevinandamanda.com/

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage
1.5 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. 
Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. 
Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.
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