Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Broth

I had intended to put up a post about food safety and turkeys last weekend, but a family emergency kept me from it. By the time I could have written it, it was Thanksgiving and a little too late. I'll save it for Christmas and hope I can get it posted then.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did, but was exhausted after cooking yesterday morning. I did have it a little easier, but as a result I have a new story if I ever write a sequel to my Masters & Disasters of Cooking Cookbook. To help me out, my husband baked the turkey on Tuesday afternoon for me to carve that evening and then refrigerate until Thursday. He baked it in a Reynolds Oven Bag and it came out wonderfully. This was the first time we had used them for a turkey and I highly recommend them. He did not add any water to the bag, but when the baking was done, I got almost a liter of broth to use for my dressing. That's where the disaster began.

As I said, we baked the turkey on Tuesday, but I planned on using the broth to make the dressing on Thursday morning at my mom's. I needed something to put the broth in until then. I ended up using a 2 liter jug that had originally held tomato juice. My husband also boiled the turkey neck to get even more broth. All in all, it practically filled the jug. What I had forgotten was that when the broth gets cold, it coagulates into a solid. So, Thursday morning I had a solid bottle of turkey fat.

Hmmm, the bottle was too tall to fit into the microwave to heat it in there. I tried several ideas which I am too embarrassed to even mention here. Then, it dawned on me to run it under some hot water. Duh, why didn't I think of that first? That worked, but still not well. Eventually, I was able to get the jello-like broth out of the bottle and into a microwavable bowl and heated it up that way. Even with all the trouble, I think the dressing was the best I've ever made.

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all and I hope you got all of the Black Friday deals you wanted. I got one, but not the one I wanted the most.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oven-fried Chicken

I have a quick and easy recipe for you today and it's also what I prepared for supper tonight. Mostly, because I am deep in writing my NaNoWriMo book and need to get back to it. If you want to know what I am talking about, or check my progress, visit my writing blog.

I like to call this recipe my one-oven meal because you fix everyone in the oven at the same time. It's Oven-fried Chicken with baked potato. I like to fix this often on Sunday because I can start it at half-time of the football game and it will usually be done around the end of the game. By baking the potatoes right along with the chicken, you have everything you need in one oven. When I prepare the chicken, sometimes I take the skin off and sometimes I don't. It depends on my mood. Either way is terrific.

Oven-fried Chicken

1 chicken, cut up into pieces
Baking mix, such as Bisquick
Mrs. Dash original seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°f. I use a broiling pan that allows the juices to drain from the chicken. In a shallow pan, combine the baking mix, Mrs. Dash seasoning, salt and pepper. Depending on how healthy you want to make this, sometimes I dip the chicken into a mixture of beaten egg and milk and then roll the pieces in the baking mix. At other times, I rinse the chicken with water and then roll in the the baking mix. Place the coated pieces onto the broiling pan and place into the oven. Roll the potatoes up in aluminum foil and place on oven rack next to the chicken. Bake for one hour, and then serve.

Extra hint: When I use the egg and milk mixture, I give the leftover mixture to our cat. He loves it and it helps make his coat shiny.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie

When I started this blog, I didn't envision how long or often I would be adding recipes. I should have kept a list of the ones I'd posted. For instance, I recently posted a recipe for hot apple cider. I thought I had already written about it and looked through the archives, but didn't find it. With the holidays approaching, I wanted to post my grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe, but thought I already had. Again, I did a search through the archive and didn't find it, but did find where I had posted the hot cider recipe a few years ago. Oh well, someday when I find the time, I'll have to go through and make myself a list. Hopefully, I haven't already put this pumpkin pie recipe on here, but if I have that's okay. It's such a good recipe, it's worth seeing again.

I love heirloom recipes. You can always count on them being good. This was my maternal grandmother's recipe, who gave it to my mother, who gave it to me and I, in turn, have given it to my daughter. Hopefully, it will keep going down each generation for quite a while.

I actually make this recipe two different ways. As you can see in the instructions below, it calls for separating the egg yolks from the white and then whipping the whites to add later. Doing this makes the pie much fuller and thick. If you don't want to go to the trouble of whipping the egg whites, you can add the eggs whole. The pie won't be as thick, but the taste is the same. Also, please note that this recipe calls for deep-dish pie crusts. This makes a lot of batter and two regular pie crusts will not hold it all.

Grandma Heitz's Pumpkin Pie

2 - 15 oz. cans of pumpkin
4 eggs
3/4 C. evaporated milk
3 T. flour
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon

Separate egg yolks from egg white and set whites aside. Mix all of the other ingredients well and set them aside. Beat the eggs whites until fluffy. Add them to the pumpkin batter and mix well by hand. Pour into 2 deep-dish pie crusts. Bake at 350° f. for about an hour.