Well, we better share our turkey recipe, today, since Thanksgiving is coming up quickly. There are so many ways to prepare your turkey this year, from frying to “Brining” to de-boning and making turkey rolls (like a jelly roll with turkey and stuffing instead)! Brining is done, because many people feels like this is the way to insure a “moist” turkey. To me, it is in how you cook anything is how moist your product will turn out!
Technically speaking, when roasting or grilling or pan searing, you want to start with a “hot” oven, grill, pan. This way you meats sear and seal in the juices. Then you can lower the heat to finish the meat. In this case, start the oven at 450 to 500 degrees. Prepare your turkey as directed and then place it in the oven. For the first half hour or so you are going to roast the turkey, uncovered and rotating every once in a while. Once the turkey browns some, then you can cover the turkey with foil and turn the oven down to about 350 degrees. Finish cooking according to the size of your turkey. Also I like to use a turkey that is twelve to fourteen pounds. This to me is the tastiest, sweetest most tender of the turkeys. Once they get bigger they start to get tougher to me. If you are feeding a large group, buy one turkey and they buy a couple extra legs, breast, whatever to add to the mix.
The following has been the way turkey is made in our household for years. It gives the turkey lots of great flavors and I never have a complaint about a dry turkey. Oh, another tip is to let the turkey “rest”, covered, for about a half hour, before slicing. This insures a moister turkey, too! The following is absolutely the best way to make your holiday turkeys, roast your baked chicken or Cornish hens or just simple “skin on” chicken pieces. You can make a batch of the glaze and then use it whenever you need a “Southern Peach” fix! Hey, get ready, because it is definitely time for another “MAJOR MJM Multiple-Mouthgasm”!!!!!
THE “NOT SO BASIC’’ GLAZE (For a turkey double this recipe)
1 – stick unsalted butter
½ jar (18 oz. size) – Peach preserves
2 – 3 Tablespoons – Fresh chopped garlic
1 – 2 Tablespoons or to taste MJM “Everyday” Seasoning mixture
1 – 2 Tablespoons or to taste Jamaican Jerk seasoning
Take all of the above ingredients and melt down in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for just a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Now you can use the glaze or you can store in a jar or Tupperware. (Once cooled and refrigerated, you will need to reheat the glaze in order to baste or glaze your chicken). When glazing your turkey or chickens, lift the skin and put a large amount of the glaze under the skin. Then coat the rest of the turkey with the glaze. Put some in the carcass, too for that extra internal flavor boost! Salt the turkey a little bit more, because I don’t use a lot of salt in the glaze.
FOR CHICKEN BREAST WITH THE SKIN ON… In a baking dish, ‘Pam’ spray the pan first. (This helps in the cleaning process later)! Next place the chicken breast in the pan and coat heavily with the glaze. In a pre-heated four hundred-degree oven, place the baking dish on a sheet pan and place it on the top shelf of the oven. (The oven is hottest on top). Put some broth or water in the pan to keep the glaze from caramelizing in the pan. Once the chicken starts turning golden brown lower the temperature to three hundred, fifty-degrees. It takes about twenty minutes to cook a breast.
FOR CORNISH GAME HENS AND TURKEYS… In a baking dish ‘Pam’ spray the dish or roasting pan first. (This helps in the cleaning process later)! Rinse off the hens or turkey with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Next, place the hens or turkey in the pan. In this case, I like to put a garlic bulb (or two or three, before I put in the stuffing…), in the carcass of the turkey. The garlic bulbs will absorb the flavors of the bird while roasting. This makes a great accompaniment to the meal and a nice garnish for the platters. You can now apply the glaze heavily to the birds. Next, if you want to, that is, stuff your bird with your favorite stuffing. In a pre-heated four hundred-fifty degree oven, place baking dish or roasting pan on a sheet pan and place it in the oven. (Put some broth or water in your pans to keep the glaze from caramelizing in the pan, plus the liquid gives you your “Starter Broth”, for your gravy)! Once the ‘bird’ starts turning golden brown lower the temperature to three hundred, fifty-degrees. With the turkey, once it starts turning golden brown, remove from the oven and cover with heavy-duty foil. Seal well and place back in the oven at three hundred, fifty-degrees. Finish cooking.
DA’ GRAVY, to make a roux, it takes equal parts fat to flour. Take equal parts butter to flour, in this case. Put your butter in a large skillet or saucepan. Melt the butter on medium high heat. Once the butter is melted add the flour, whisking the whole time. Turn the heat down to a medium heat and whisk the flour/butter mixture for 5 minutes or so. (If you do not cook the roux it will taste “pasty” or floury)! When the roux is a light caramel color whisk in the juices from the baking pan, whisking constantly. Have some chicken broth (you can add some veal or beef broth, too) heated and ready to add to the gravy mixture. Add broth until you get to the consistency that you like. Keep whisking and season with salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and a touch of Worcestershire sauce. Let simmer for several minutes and serve or hold in a pan set in another pan of heated water. (Kind of like a double boiler).
Mango’s Tips: Roasting or cooking hens
It takes about forty-five minutes to cook a Cornish hen. Use the liquid in the pan to help make your gravy.
Turkey… It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes a pound to cook a turkey. You may need to add broth several times when roasting the turkey, because the liquid may evaporate while roasting. Use the liquid in the pan to help make your gravy. Cover the stuffing with some aluminum foil, as well as the wing tips and drumstick tips. This prevents the stuffing from drying out and keeps the tips from burning. Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes, covered slightly, before carving. Take the garlic bulbs out of the turkey and use the roasted garlic cloves, like butter, on your dinner rolls. Now this is a real “MJM Mouthgasm”, in itself!!!
Life is sort of parallel to the seasons in the year. As we approach fall where the world prepares for winter, there are some people who are in the fall of their lives. They are ready to reap in the harvest of their lives. Enjoy each season, for everything happens for a reason. You know this weeks thought, was inspired by a television show a few years ago. It was called, “Your big Break”, where everyday people get a chance to perform “LIVE” in front of the whole world. The thing that got to me, is that these people, with all of their own challenges, jobs, children and whatever else is in their average day, carry a dream inside of them. A dream, that not only entertains those around them, but a God given talent that gives them a certain drive that makes them feel alive! So what I am saying is to reach down deep inside of yourself and see what really “Drives” you, what gets you excited, what makes “Your boat float”!!!
We all have something inside of us. It is just up to us to discover what it is. Now you have to be patient, especially for those of us who never really thought about this before. It may take a while, but it is a fun process to go through. You will learn a lot about your self! So, as you continue down the road of life, remember to pass out treats, especially the ones that you have learned from this site! Plus, live life like you never have before. Do the things that you have only dreamed of! What is stopping you, except YOU! You are where you want to be, so be in the best place you can possibly imagine! Be thankful for what you do have! No matter what, you are probably doing O.K.
Until next time, may the world bless you with the energy you need to be the person you want to be! As always, remember to create a great experience, one that will make your life and those around you, a much better place to live!!! Plus I want to give a BIG THANKS to all of you who have visited this site. Peace be with you and may your holidays be blessed in more ways than you could ever dream of!!!
You see things; and you say: “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say: “Why not?” George Bernard Shaw