poultry

Let’s Talk Turkey!

The holidays are upon us and it’s time to start planning those holiday dinners for friends and family. Everyone has their favorites from old-school marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes to the classic green bean casserole. For me, it’s all about the turkey! Juicy and golden, it graces most of our holiday dinner tables. But, alas! There can be many turkey tragedies, “turkey sins” as I like to call them. From the overcooked and dried out to the not-fully-defrosted-and-then-baked-raw travesty! Zowie!

Ample planning and some good rules of thumb can ensure a low-stress turkey roasting day. Below, I’ll walk you through the 10 turkey sins, and provide tips on how to have a d’lish holiday meal.

I’m also including a recipe for my Cranberry Citrus Cooler, Herb-Lacquered Roasted Turkey, Old Fashioned Turkey Gravy ( a recipe that makes a lot! – see sin #7!), Overnight Wild Rice Stuffing and Egg Nog Panna Cotta for you to cook up some holiday fun!

Turkey Sin #1: Roasting a Half-Frozen Bird, or the “turkey’sicle”

If you’re buying a standard bird at the grocery store, take into consideration most of these babies are frozen or “half” frozen. I love ordering a fresh local Foster Farms bird. If you do too, keep in mind to get your order in at least 2+ weeks ahead at your favorite market or butcher/poultry shop. Remember to get to “know your turkey” – if you’re going for a fresh bird, it will cook a bit quicker (and need more seasoning) than a traditional “plumped” turkey. The rule of thumb is: you should start defrosting your bird in the refrigerator about 5 days in advance—up to 7 if it’s a biggie! Watch me season and stuff fresh herbs in my fully defrosted turkey on Q13!

Turkey Sin #2: Leaving the Bag of Giblets in the Bird

How many of you have seen these left in during baking!? Once your bird is ready for the big day, take it out of the wrapper. Remove the bag of “goodies and giblets” from inside, and also check inside the neck cavity. (NO one wants a turkey “butt” surprise). You can use the neck and giblets to make a little pan of turkey stock for adding to gravy if you like.

Turkey Sin #3: “Steaming,” Rather than Roasting, your Bird

Roasting your turkey in a big old deep roasting pan creates steam from the turkey juices and does not make for a crispy-skinned bird. To avoid this, rinse your turkey inside and out; then pat it dry. Place in a wide shallow pan, up on a roasting rack. Stick some aromatics, such as quartered onions, an orange and a few big sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage and rosemary, in the inside cavity.

Turkey Sin #4: Under Seasoning

All the gravy and cranberry sauce in Plymouth Rock can’t hide an under seasoned bird. You can carefully stuff fun things like fresh sage leaves, sprigs of thyme, fresh basil leaves and small tufts of rosemary under the turkey’s skin but watch out for tears in the skin. Herbs will add a nice flavor to the meat. Season your turkey liberally with kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper – or I love to use my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt! This means really season it well—rub it all over, under the wings, on the back of the bird—massage that baby! For a medium-sized turkey, you want to use at least 1 tablespoon of kosher salt plus about 1 teaspoon of pepper or about 2 Tbsp of my Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt.

Turkey Sin #5: An Undercooked or Overcooked Bird

Undercook your bird, and put your guests at risk. Overcook your bird, and you’ll need to offer guests a LOT of wine for washing it down…which could lead to family drama! Cooking your bird just right is tricky. To start with, there are a million different methods. I’m a roasted-turkey gal, but I know there are lots of you turkey-fryers out there. And it does make a good bird (but beware of garage fires!) —but I gotta have my gravy. To keep it simple, get yourself a good instant-read thermometer and be sure to preheat your oven. See my favorite recipe and tips, below, for roasting. To avoid overcooking your bird, plan your day. When are you serving dinner? Work back from there. Unless you are cooking a 40-lb monster turkey or eating dinner at 11 AM, there is no need to get the bird in the oven at 6 AM!! Yes, I have succumbed to eating one of those roasted-for-8-hours birds, and it wasn’t pretty!

Turkey sin #5-B Note

Do not leave the thermometer in the bird when you are roasting it – see picture below.

I prefer an instant read thermometer.

Melted Thermometer

Turkey Sin #6: An Improperly Carved Turkey

After all that hard work put into creating a picture-perfect, delicious-tasting bird, do not let the knife get into inexperienced hands! It may be tradition to let the man of the house perform the ceremonious carve, but not if he’s going to hack it to death (Family Note: Seen at the in-laws frequently.  For God sakes just let me do it)! Give the bird 20 minutes to rest. This will allow you to get the rest of the dinner on the table. To start carving, take off the breast first, and slice thin. Disjoint the legs, thighs, and wings and slice the thighs if desired. My in-laws use an electric knife (it was probably a wedding gift from the 60’s!) and actually, the thing works pretty darn well. I favor my super-sharp Henkel chef’s knife. But hey! Use whatever gets you the nicest slices. (I kind of like those old school electric carving knives too!) You can watch me carve and serve up roasted turkey pieces on Q13 here!

Turkey Sin #7: Not Enough Gravy- This could be the ultimate sin!

Gravy and turkey is like milk and cookies: delightfully harmonious. To be sure you make enough, immediately transfer your roasted bird to a platter to rest, and collect all those yummy juices for making pan gravy. Or, what I like to do is make turkey stock a few days ahead using some purchased turkey legs and then make a big batch of gravy in the bird-cooking pan. There’s nothing worse than not enough gravy! I like my do ahead gravy recipe below – and it makes LOTS! Watch me make lots of turkey gravy on Q13!

Turkey Sin #8: Letting the Cooked Bird Sit Out…. All Day… and Beyond

Once you have the meat off the bird, remember to not let it sit on the counter all evening, increasing the risk of spoilage. I like to take off any extra meat and refrigerate it for soups or sandwiches. Don’t throw away that turkey carcass! Break it up, throw it in a big pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1–2 hours. Strain the stock well, then cool. Now you have yummy turkey broth to make some tasty soup later in the week.

Turkey Sin #9: No Turkey Leftovers for Sandwiches

And this brings us to the sin second only to not making enough gravy: not cooking enough turkey. Turkey sandwiches—I love them piled high with homemade cranberry compote—are absolutely de rigueur for next-day snacking … or midnight refrigerator raids, for those who cannot wait! So if you’re inviting your peeps over for dinner –encourage people to bring some their own Tupperware –  give them some leftovers …. it will make for very happy guests and less to cram in the already packed refrigerator!

Turkey Sin #10: Not Enjoying Yourself

Running around the kitchen like a turkey with its head cut off is no way to enjoy the holiday. Don’t allow the day to consume you. Why not give each person something to bring to the dinner? Maybe even send them a recipe you would like them to make. The holidays are all about gathering over a meal, so get those football-watchers off the couch and into the kitchen. Get your guests involved by setting the table, pouring drinks, warming the rolls, anything to help. You’ll relax more and create lasting memories with your family and friends.

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One of my favorite turkey-roasting methods follows, so whether you are a first-time cooker or an old hand at the turkey game, I hope my tips and recipes will allow you to have a super-successful holiday meal!

Finished Turkey

Kathy’s Herb-Lacquered Roasted Turkey
Chef’s Notes:  Read recipe all the way through a few days before your dinner. A tasty do-ahead turkey gravy that makes LOTS follows.

Allow about 1 1/2 – 2 hours of roasting time for a 12-pound turkey (that is fresh and not stuffed), and add about 5 to 10 minutes for each additional pound. This will be one of the most beautiful turkeys you’ve ever roasted!  If roasting a large turkey 20 – 24 lbs, bake at 350 degrees. A 22-lb turkey should take about 2 1/2 – 3 hours to reach 175–180 degrees internal temperature (insert an instant-read thermometer in the back side of the thigh).

Makes 8 to 16 servings, with leftovers

1 12- to 16-pound turkey
4 or more large, fresh rosemary sprigs
1 large onion, skin on, quartered
1 head of garlic, broken apart
8 large sage leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt + 1/2 – 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
OR 2 + tablespoons Dish D’Lish French Seasoning Salt

Place an oven rack low in the oven, removing extra racks if necessary. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Remove the giblets and neck from turkey cavities, checking that both cavities are empty. Rinse turkey with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry. Keep the legs tied together with the metal clip, or tie with butcher’s twine.

Place half of the rosemary sprigs and all the onion and garlic in the bird’s body cavity.

  • (If you decide to stuff your turkey with traditional stuffing there are some things you must know: When stuffing a turkey, do so just before roasting; do not stuff it the night before. Loosely stuff the turkey so that the stuffing will completely cook through. Do not pack the stuffing. You can stuff both ends of a turkey, the large inside cavity and the smaller nook under the skin flap at the neck – cooking time may need to be increased and be sure your stuffing .)

Pull the leaves off the remaining rosemary sprigs. Carefully loosen the turkey skin over the breast and legs (by running your hands under it), being careful not to tear it. Keeping them as flat as possible, tuck the sage leaves and the rosemary leaves you pulled off under the breast, thigh, and leg skin, arranging the herbs decoratively. Carefully pull the breast skin tightly down over breast bone, then, using metal closure skewers, thread them through both sides of the skin flaps to bridge the turkey body-cavity opening. Thread skewers alternately from left to right then right to left. With a 12-inch piece of butcher’s twine or white cotton string, work back and forth around the skewers to lace up the cavity, shoelace-style.

Spray a roasting rack with nonstick vegetable spray and place the turkey on the rack in an open, shallow roasting pan. Rub the turkey all over with the olive oil, then generously sprinkle the turkey with the salt and pepper or French Seasoning Salt, seasoning it well all over.

Place the turkey on the low oven rack and roast until the inner, thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F. (Insert metal stem, instant-read thermometer in the back side of thigh by the turkey body.)

If you are cooking a larger turkey, you may need to tent the breast loosely with a piece of buttered foil to avoid over-browning of the breast. About 30 to 45 minutes before the end of cooking, remove tent to allow browning.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven. Before carving the turkey, let it stand for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle. As the turkey stands, the turkey thigh temperature will reach 180°F. (If stuffing be sure stuffing comes to 165°F) Use the pan drippings to make your gravy – see recipe below.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Old-Fashioned Turkey Mushroom Gravy- THAT MAKES A LOT!
You can make this a few days ahead and then re-heat in your turkey roasting pan for extra turkey flavor goodness! Read through the entire recipe before starting.

Makes 10 cups, or about 20 generous 1/2-cup servings

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary – or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
8 ounces (4 cups) thinly sliced mushrooms, or chopped wild mushrooms
1 cup flour
10 cups Rich Turkey Stock (recipe follows)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the rosemary and mushrooms and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and white pepper.

You can make the gravy a couple of days ahead to save yourself some precious holiday time!

Then right before serving- and while your turkey is set aside to rest – ready your turkey roasting pan full of turkey goodness: remove excess fat from your turkey roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner – add a big splash of white wine, champagne, potato cooking water, chicken broth or water. Using a metal spatula – scrape up all the goodies in the bottom of the pan… this is the turkey goodness. Then add your prepared Turkey Mushroom gravy – whisk well and heat till hot. Serve up and enjoy – you’ll have lots of gravy for all!

Rich Turkey Stock
Makes about 10 cups

2 large turkey legs or thighs, about 2 pounds total
1 yellow onion, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
Up to 2 cups mushroom stems, optional
4 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine
12 cups water

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Roast the turkey pieces in a baking pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the skin is golden brown. Place them in an 8-quart pot and add the vegetables and seasonings. Deglaze the roasting pan with the wine, scraping the pan well to loosen browned bits, and add to the pot. Add the water.

Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat to low and lightly simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock and skim off any fat. Discard the vegetables. (Most of the flavor will have cooked out of the turkey; however, the meat can be removed from the bones and saved for another use.)

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cuties Overnight Wild-Rice & Sourdough Stuffing
With big flavors and textures, this stuffing is great with game hens, turkey, chicken, holiday ham or pork chops.
Makes about 8 servings

6 cups water
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup wild rice
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6 Cuties Mandarin Oranges
4 cups 1/2-inch-cubed rustic sourdough bread
1/2 cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds
6 Tbsp. salted butter
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced onion
1 cup 1/4-inch-diced celery
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs, beaten

In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in wild rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer rice, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until very tender. Drain and cool.

Meanwhile, peel the Cuties, cut in half crosswise, then break into half segments. Place in a large bowl with the bread and almonds, and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, add the onion, celery, and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 7–8 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and add cranberries, broth and herbs.

Add mushroom mixture and cooled rice to bread mixture. Toss to mix evenly, then add the beaten egg and toss until bread is thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let flavors develop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with pan spray.

Re-toss stuffing, transfer to baking pan, and let sit for 30 minutes to come to room temperature while oven preheats. Bake in preheated oven for 35–45 minutes, or until cooked through.

Chef’s Note: When roasting a stuffed chicken or game hen, cook until internal temperature at the center of the stuffing is 165 degrees F.

Recipe Created for Cuties Citrus by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Cranberry Citrus Cooler
Housemade Cranberry Syrup adds a flavorful twist and beautiful color to this tall cooler.
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz Housemade Cranberry Syrup including 3- 4 of the berries (recipe follows)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: long lemon twist

Measure the Moon Mountain Vodka, Cranberry Syrup including a few of the berries, lemon juice and orange juice into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and add the bitters. Cap and shake. Pour into a tall glass. Garnish with a long curled lemon twist.

Housemade Cranberry Syrup
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place ingredients into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 1 minute then turn off heat. Let syrup infuse for one hour. Then refrigerate. Will keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Eggnog Panna Cotta With Spiced Cranberry Compote
Makes 4 servings

1/3 cup pecan pieces

Eggnog Panna Cotta
1 cup high-quality eggnog
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup (8 oz wt) mascarpone
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons gelatin
2 tablespoons water

Spiced Cranberry Compote
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350-degree oven until just golden, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool.

To make the Panna Cotta: Place the eggnog, sugar, nutmeg, extract, mascarpone and sour cream in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie). Whisk until smooth and warmed.

In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let bloom for a couple of minutes, then heat in microwave or over hot water until melted. Whisk into the warmed eggnog mixture.

Divide mixture between 4 small custard cups (the small Pyrex glass ones). Place on a baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours until set, or overnight.

To make the Spiced Cranberry Compote: In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan place the cranberries, nutmeg, sugar, orange juice and zest. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium. Let cook until cranberries are popped and mixture is a nice compote consistency, about 5 – 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

To serve dessert: One at a time place each ramekin of panna cotta in a shallow bowl of very hot water — to 1/2-inch from the top — for about a count of 10. Remove, run a knife around the outside and unmold onto individual dessert plates. Scatter the cranberry compote over the tops of the custards. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: All the dessert components can be made up to 3 days before serving.

Recipe © Dishing with Kathy Casey

Posted by Kathy on November 21st, 2019  |  Comments Off on Let’s Talk Turkey! |  Posted in dessert, Dish D'Lish, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, French Seasoning Salt, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, poultry, Products, Recent Posts, Recipes, seasonings, sides

Super Bowl Sunday Snackin’

Need some new d’lish ideas for the big game? I have some tasty recipes for your next big party!
Everyone loves the classics: crab dip, wings, deviled eggs, but how about some new variations?

crab dip

Warm Crab, Mushroom & Brie Dip is my play on Hot Crab Dip is made with Alaskan King Crab, sherry-sautéed mushrooms, and brie – ooo la la! It can be made the night before and heated up before guests arrive. Just serve with some artisan crackers or slices of baguette. Touchdown!

deviled eggs

And it’s not a party without some deviled eggs – you know how much I love these! The 12th Egg – AKA – Chipotle Deviled Eggs – features spicy chipotle for some KICK BUTT flavor.

Sticky Pomegranate Wings
Photos by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

And for a new twist on wings try my recipe for Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings! A d’lish sweet and zesty finger food, sure to impress the fans.

And the best thing is that all these apps can be prepped ahead so you’re not stuck in the kitchen and have more game time. Now go enjoy the game! -Kathy

Warm Crab, Mushroom & Brie Dip
Dungeness crab meat is tasty but also pricy. Try purchasing Alaska King Crab legs and picking the meat out. It’s easy to do by using a pair of clean scissors to open up the legs. Then just give the meat a very coarse chop to cut it into 1/2 inch pieces.

Dip can be prepared up to 2 days in advance if using very fresh crab and baked when your guests are just starting to arrive. Easy to make Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini bake at the same oven temperature to make things easy!

Makes about 6 cups — serves about 12 – 24 people

1 small (8 oz wt.) wheel brie cheese
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2 tsp olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry
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1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (Note: do not use reduced-fat or fat-free, I like to use Best Foods in this recipe)
3 cups (about 10 oz. wt.) shredded, high-quality parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup minced sweet red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup minced celery
3/4 pound crab meat, drained well (about 2 1/2 cups drained), see note above
Garnish: Minced fresh parsley

Cut the brie cheese into 1/2” pieces, set aside and then let come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook stirring often till half cooked, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the onions are very soft and the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and sherry and continue cooking until the sherry is completely reduced about 8 minutes. (There should not be any liquid left.) Set aside to cool.

Place the room temperature brie in a mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed for about 1 minute or until the cheese softened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add half of the mayonnaise. Mix for 3 more minutes on medium-high speed. Add the remaining mayonnaise, parmesan, Tabasco, and lemon juice. Mix together on medium speed until well mixed, about 1 minute.

Remove bowl from mixer and fold-in the cooled mushroom mixture, green onion, pepper, celery and crab meat – being careful not to break up the crab meat. Do not over mix.

Place dip in a 7×11 baking dish, or 2 quart ovenproof serving dish. Smooth out but do not compact it (dip can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 day at this point).

When ready to serve dip, place in a 400°F preheated oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until dip just starts to bubble around the edges, heated through and the cheese is melted (be careful not to overcook). If desired, garnish dip with minced fresh parsley. Serve immediately with Fresh Thyme & Sea Salt Crostini, or rustic flat bread or crackers.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®. – www.KathyCasey.com

Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings
These chicken wings get a big-flavored, lacquer-y glaze in this low-and-slow method. You can make the sauce a few days ahead of time, but be sure to allow a full hour for cooking the wings.

Makes 24 pieces

3/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsps very finely minced peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 Tbsp of lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsps cornstarch
1 dozen whole chicken wings or 2 dozen drummettes, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds

Garnish: 1/2 cup pomegranate arils* and thinly sliced green onion tops

In a small saucepan, whisk together the pomegranate juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, pepper flakes, vinegar, cornstarch, and water. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, to thicken. Mixture will be very thick. Let cool. If not using immediately, store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

If using whole wings, disjoint the wings and remove and discard tips; you should have 24 pieces. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the sauce mixture to the chicken and mix well to coat evenly. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or lightly oil it. Arrange the drummettes and sauce in a single layer in the dish.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir and turn the chicken pieces over and bake for 20 minutes more. Stir and turn the chickens pieces again and bake for 10 minutes more, or until chicken is tender and sauce is thick and glazed. Total cooking time should be about 1-hour.

Stir the drummettes in the sauce once more, and then transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and green onions.

*Pomegranate seeds, called “arils”, can be purchased or you can easily remove them from a fresh pomegranate with this trick: cut it across cross-wise and hold over a bowl, smack the back of the fruit with a wooden spoon – the seeds will fall out with ease.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios. – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on January 31st, 2019  |  Comments Off on Super Bowl Sunday Snackin’ |  Posted in appetizers, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, events, KOMO Radio, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood, Snacks

Slow Cooker Comfort

After a busy winter day there is nothing better than coming home to a delicious, ready-to-eat meal. Yes! It’s time to dust off the crock pot!

When gloomy weather has you feeling a little down, a warm and hearty meal can be so comforting. You can do all the prep in the morning, and dinner can be ready right when you walk in the door! Simply “Set It and Forget It”!

Slow Cookers are wonderful way to utilize tougher cuts of big-flavored meat. Think juicy brisket, flavorful chili, spicy pork, or a delicious lamb curry. My recipe for Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt is a household favorite – it’s bursting with flavor!

And crock pots aren’t just for entrees either – I also love to slow cook up a batch of overnight oats with brown sugar, orange zest and dried fruits. Top it with some Greek yogurt, or coconut milk – it’s the perfect way to start off a lazy Sunday morning!

And the best part about these cozy meals? They make incredible leftovers! So turn on your crock pot and let d’liciousness simmer away!
-Kathy

Curry Chicken Thighs with Apples and Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings

1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup dried black currants or raisins
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and cut in 6 wedges each
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch dice
Fresh Italian parsley, cilantro and mint, very coarsely chopped or torn
Steamed rice or potatoes as an accompaniment

1. In a large bowl whisk together the apple juice, cornstarch and flour until smooth. Then whisk in the curry powder, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, chili flakes, salt, sugar and yogurt.
2. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the slow cooker and add in the following order: onion, celery, currants or raisins, apples and bell pepper. Cover, set cooker to high and cook for about 7 to 8 hours.
3. Garnish with the fresh herbs. Serve with rice or potatoes.

Recipe created by Kathy Casey Food Studios

Posted by Kathy on January 4th, 2018  |  Comments Off on Slow Cooker Comfort |  Posted in chicken, chipotle, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, garlic, herbs, Kathy Casey, meats, onion, paprika, pepper, peppers, pork, poultry, poultry, Recent Posts, roasted, seafood, seafood, seasonings, soups, spices, vegetables

Quick Chicken

These days it seems like life is extra hectic (especially with it being the holiday season!) and sometimes planning dinner can be last on your list.

Thankfully grocers like Metropolitan Market, Whole Foods, and even Costco have you covered with their pre-made meals and dishes like their rotisserie roasted chickens.

These chickens are great if you’re time starved. Of course they are d’lish just carved up and served as your main alongside tasty sides like roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, etc. But there is so much more you can do.

Add the meat to stir-fry, layer into quesadillas, build onto an open-faced sandwich, or make a Quick and Easy Chicken Mandarin Salad – the possibilities are endless.

Once you have that chicken picked clean, don’t throw those bones away. Because next up is Homemade Chicken Broth! Add some carrots, celery, onion and the chicken bones to a big pot. Cover with water – if you want it extra rich, add in a can OR carton of chicken broth too.

stock-photo
Homemade Chicken Broth – perfect for this chilly weather!

Let this simmer for at least an hour or two (or throw it in your crock pot on low while you’re at work!)
Then strain, and there you have it – delicious Homemade Chicken Broth. And your house will smell delicious! –Kathy

mandarin-chicken-salad-6
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Quick and Easy Mandarin Chicken Salad
Makes 4 servings

1 tsp. curry powder
1 Sunkist® lemon
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
3 cups chopped cooked store-bought rotisserie/roasted chicken
1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup roasted cashews or sliced almonds
3 peeled and sectioned Sunkist® Gold Nugget variety mandarins
Salt and black pepper
2 halved whole wheat pitas

Zest the lemon and set it aside, then juice the lemon.
In a large bowl, mix together lemon juice and zest, curry powder, yogurt and mayonnaise.
Mix in the chicken, cabbage, green onions, celery and nuts.
Add the mandarin sections and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with pita’s or on your favorite mixed greens.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on December 15th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Quick Chicken |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads, soups

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Turkey day is here ….and gone and you just MAY have a few leftovers in your fridge. Need some tasty ideas? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

turkey-feast
A d’lish Thanksgiving Day feast!

Thanksgiving for breakfast – why not! Thanksgiving Benedict is a delicious idea a chef friend shared with me. Form leftover stuffing into patties, pan sear, then top with some sliced turkey, a poached egg and a dollop of gravy. YUM!

And you know there is never enough gravy left over- right? Why not make some more? Pick that turkey clean (save the meat for soup and sandwiches.) Now it’s time to make a Simple Turkey Gravy.

 

Get out the stock pot. Add in the bones, some chopped carrots, celery and onion. Cover with water (and sometimes I like to add in a carton of chicken broth to give it a flavor boost) bring to a simmer for 2 hours – then strain and voila!

Take that extra turkey meat and stock then make a soup. Or make gravy and add some veggies and leftover turkey meat and serve over biscuits for a d’lish open face hot turkey sandwich.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! –Kathy

Simple Turkey Gravy
Makes about 5 cups

6 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. minced onion AND/OR 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
5 cups homemade turkey stock (see above for method using your leftover turkey carcass)
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onions (and mushrooms if using) and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and white pepper.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on November 23rd, 2016  |  Comments Off on Thanksgiving Leftovers |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Kathy Casey, KOMO Radio, other, poultry, Recipes

Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer

It’s time to talk about huckleberries. This native Pacific Northwest berry is delicious in drinks, desserts, incorporated into dinners, or straight off the bush!

huckleberries
Photo from The Daily Apple

There are lots of places you can pick huckleberries and often you can get some great hiking in, too. Find a trail in the mountains that takes you roughly above 2,000 feet; huckleberries grow fine at sea-level, but really go wild in higher elevations. Look for bushes in meadows or along lakes. The Washington Trails Association has a great list of “huckleberry hikes.”

Just remember these 2 key pointers:

  1. Lots of berries grow in our neck of the woods, and not all of them are edible. Make sure to take a guidebook along to make sure you’re picking the right ones.
  2. Keep your eyes open for roaming animals. Our wildlife loves huckleberries as much as we do; you might even spot a bear so be careful!

And they’re not just for pie although I love them studded into an apple pie like in my Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust.

One of my favorites is a savory Pan Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce. Or how about roasted with slices of sweet potato – yum!

These wild fall berries are delicious in almost anything! –Kathy

Apple Huckleberry Pie with Spiced Crust
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Crust
2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp round nutmeg
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
12 Tbsps (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
6 Tbsps ice water

Filling
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 Tbsps flour
2 Tbsps cornstarch
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced, peeled and cored apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
1 cup fresh wild huckleberries
milk and sugar for topping (optional)

To make the crust:In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and graham cracker crumbs and mix evenly. Cut in butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into 2 disks and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

Divide dough into 2 pieces and press gently into disks. Refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, cornstarch, apples and huckleberries. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove dough from the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into 2 rounds, each about 12 inches in diameter. Brush excess flour from one crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit bottom crust into pan. Trim dough overhang to 1/2″.

Mound the fruit mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Brush edges of bottom crust lightly with water and then cover pie with top crust. Trim top crust overhang to 1 inch, then fold overhanging top-crust dough under edge of bottom crust overhang and tuck excess dough under, even with edge of pan. Seal and flute edges with fingertips to make a pretty crimp. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top, brush top crust lightly with milk then sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more, or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Huckleberries, Blue Cheese & Port Sauce
Makes 4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp clarified butter or olive oil plus more if needed
1 shallot, minced
2 large fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup port
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup crumbled Oregon blue cheese or other full-flavored blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh wild huckleberries

Garnishes:
fresh sage leaves
crumbled blue cheese
fresh wild huckleberries

Read through the entire recipe before beginning, and have all ingredients ready within reach of the range.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season chicken liberally on each side with salt and pepper. (If chicken breasts are really large, then lightly pound out a bit between sheets of plastic wrap.)

In a large, heavy, ovenproof nonstick skillet or sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over high heat until hot. Sear the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the chicken for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until juices run clear. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.

Place the chicken-cooking pan over high heat and add the shallot and sage leaves to the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds, then stir in the port and mustard and scrape up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan to get all that good flavor into the sauce. Continuing cooking on high heat to reduce the port to 1/4 cup, about 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, and reduce until saucy and almost glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the cheese and whisk in for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove the sauce from heat and stir in the huckleberries.

Discard the sage leaves. Whisk in any accumulated juices from the resting chicken breasts, taste the sauce, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, plate the chicken breasts on dinner plates and drizzle with the sauce, dividing evenly. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and a sprinkling of cheese and huckleberries.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 21st, 2016  |  Comments Off on Huckleberries – A taste of Late Summer |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, dessert, Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes

#TurkeyHack: Turkey After All The Trimmings

#TurkeyHack! Okay, you roasted the beautiful bird, enjoyed all the trimmings, and stuffed yourself silly. Now what do you do with the leftover turkey? Don’t just leave it on the counter while you start playing games or watching a game on TV.

Turkey Feast

Get ready to do a #TurkeyHack Turkey Stock!
First things first: remove all the meat from the turkey. Slice up the breast and use for sandwiches – you know that you’ll want one later! Save the dark meat for soup and other yummy dishes, which we will get to in a minute. And make sure to remove any string, from the bird or leg ties – you don’t need those anymore!

Next, whack and/or break up the turkey carcass; yes, use your hands! Put it all in a big pot, and cover with water (if you have them, add in big chunks of onion, celery tops and carrots). Now put the whole thing on the stove and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours (make sure to set a timer!) while you enjoy some post-dinner fun.

Now, strain out the solids reserving the delicious turkey stock. Put stock back in the pot and reduce by half on a low simmer. (You need about 5 cups for the gravy recipe – and if your short stretch it out with a little chicken broth).

When it’s reduced and tasty delicious, cool and then refrigerate for soup. Or make a big pot of gravy using my #TurkeyHack Gravy Simple Recipe for leftovers or open-faced hot turkey sandwiches. Yum! -Kathy

#TurkeyHack Simple Gravy
Makes about 5 cups

6 Tbsps. butter
2 Tbsp minced onion AND/OR 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
5 cups homemade turkey stock (see above for method using your leftover turkey carcass)
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the onions (and mushrooms if using) and sauté over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir vigorously until combined and smooth. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock all at once and whisk vigorously so as to eliminate any lumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the gravy is nicely thickened. Season with salt and white pepper.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®. – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on November 25th, 2015  |  Comments Off on #TurkeyHack: Turkey After All The Trimmings |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, Recipes

Marinades

Summer means grilling and nothing boosts the flavor goodness on grilled meat, seafood and veggies like a fantastic marinade. They are simple to make and give an easy flavor jolt to your dinner dishes with only a few ingredients.

Marinade
(Photo courtesy of Country Living)

Take inspiration for your marinade from different cultures. Chipotle, lime, and agave add instant cha-cha-cha to your chicken. Or try ginger, thai basil, sesame oil, and hot chili paste for a bit of zen for your dish.

My biggest marinade tip is: Make it strong! The bolder the flavor; the bigger the taste. If you make your marinade and it tastes good – then it’s not bold enough. Pump up the flavor even more with spices, garlic, herbs, etc. Get creative!

Citrus juices are common in marinades and add a big hit of brightness to smoky grilled flavors. Keep in mind that marinating with citrus juices for too long can begin to “cook” your protein, particularly fish, before it even hits the heat. I like to use orange juice concentrate to really get a citrus punch in my marinade.

Another quick tip: If your marinade contains sugar or honey, be sure to grill on medium-low heat to prevent burning. Honey or sugar can scorch on high heat.

I’ve included a great chart for making marinades with a basic recipe and then add-ins for you to customize. I also put together some marinating and grilling tips for your next patio party to be grilling-successful!

So this summer, jazz up your cooking with some mouth-watering marinades. –Kathy

Basic Marinade for Grilling
Marinates 4 to 6 portions of protein

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or other fresh herb
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil, depending upon which herbs you are using
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
4 to 6 portions of protein, such as chicken breasts, steaks, pork loin chops, salmon, or large shrimp, or large portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian option

In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients.

Lay out protein in a shallow, non-aluminum baking pan. Spoon half the marinade on the top side of each portion and rub it around, then flip the protein and spoon on the remaining marinade, being sure that all surfaces are covered.

Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, heat grill to medium-high heat, then brush grill lightly with oil. Be sure grill is hot before placing protein on it. Sprinkle both sides of protein with kosher salt, and grill on the first side, being sure not to move it until there is a good charred grill mark. (The biggest mistake that home cooks make is to “touch” what they are grilling too much and move it around before it is ready; this causes sticking.)

Grill to desired doneness. No specific time can be given as it will depend upon your heat and what you are grilling. Typically, if there are nice grill marks on each side, the food is probably close to done. You can refer to internal cooking temperatures on the Internet, but I think that most government-determined temperatures are too high. So, until you are a seasoned griller, get a small paring knife and cut a tiny “peek “into the center of what you are cooking. For poultry you will want to see no pink; fish should be just cooked and not dry; shrimp should be just pink on the outside and barely opaque inside; and steaks should be the way you like them!

This marinade is a basic one, so get creative here, too, when you feel ready. Practice makes perfect. And grilling is “rustic,” so if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world—just jump back in and try it again soon.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Marinade Customization Chart

Acid 1/4 cup Any of the following or a combination equaling 1/4 cup:

lemon juice

lime juice

cider vinegar

balsamic vinegar

red wine vinegar

white wine vinegar

rice wine vinegar

Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons
Kosher salt 3/4 teaspoon (use less if adding cheese or olives)
Oil 3/4 cup Any of the following or a combination equaling 3/4 cup:

mild-tasting vegetable oil, such as canola

olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil

nut oils, such as hazelnut or walnut oil (do not use nut oils for more than half of total oil)

Flavorings as desired black pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon grated lemon, lime or orange zest (colored part only—no white pith)

1 tablespoon chopped mild fresh herbs (basil, tarragon, chives, oregano, cilantro)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped strong fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram)

2 tablespoons chopped calamata olives, sun dried tomatoes or roasted peppers

2 to 3 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic

2 to 3 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon Asian-style sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon finely minced shallots

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

1 teaspoon hot chili paste or hot sauce

In a small mixing bowl, use a small wire whisk and combine together your acid component, Dijon mustard and salt. Then slowly whisk in the oil, adding it in a thin drizzle. This technique is to emulsify (make smooth and combined) your marinade. Then add your flavoring components.

You can keep the unused marinade refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Experiment with different flavorings and combinations. Discard after using the marinade.

Marinating tips:

  • The item you are marinating doesn’t have to be swimming in liquid if the marinade is made strong enough.
  • Freeze extra marinade in zip-lock freezer bags. When ready to use, just pull it out of the freezer, defrost and add in your item to be marinated.
  • Marinades with a lot of acid (vinegar, wine, citrus) should be used for a shorter time on proteins.
  • Make marinades thick with herbs and citrus zests — almost like a wet rub — for a big flavor punch. Smear on 1 tablespoon per portion.
  • Try smearing thicker marinades under the skin of whole chickens, then let them sit overnight, refrigerated, before roasting.
  • Created by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Lemon & Caper Marinade for Seafood or Chicken
    Makes about 1/3 cup

    2 teaspoons finely minced fresh lemon zest
    1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
    2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme
    1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
    2 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Whisk all ingredients together well.

    Keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

    Marinate fish, shrimp, scallops or chicken breasts for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Cider Marinade for Chicken or Pork
    Makes 1 cup

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
    1 teaspoon rubbed dry sage or 1 Tbsp. fresh sage finely minced
    1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves or 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme finely minced
    3/4 teaspoon celery seed
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 teaspoons finely minced lemon zest
    1/2 cup apple cider
    4 teaspoons cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup salad oil

    Whisk all ingredients together well. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

    Marinate chicken breasts or pork chops for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours before cooking.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®


    Citrus Mojo Chili Marinade for Poultry, Pork or Seafood

    Makes 3/4 cup

    2 teaspoons finely minced orange zest
    1 orange
    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
    2 tablespoons finely minced onion

    Zest the orange and then cut off the peel and white pith from it. Cut orange into large chunks. Place in a food processor or blender with the remaining ingredients and process until as smooth as it will get.

    Will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

    Marinate fish, turkey breast slices, chicken, shrimp or pork for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Chermoula Marinade for Prawns, Chicken, Veggies or Steak
    Makes about 1/2 cup

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
    2 tablespoons minced fresh lemon zest
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until almost smooth.

    Keep refrigerated for up to 3 days. Marinate chicken breasts, shrimp, or beef steaks for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

    Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

    Posted by Kathy Casey on June 5th, 2014  |  Comments Off on Marinades |  Posted in Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog, KOMO Radio, meats, poultry, Recent Posts, Recipes, seafood
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