Archive for the ‘Poultry’ Category

Chili Cook Off at Khyber

January 29, 2011

I am divulging my secret before the cook off at the Khyber! Typically it is a bad idea to share secret recipes before a contest but since chili takes hours to cook so that the spices properly blend, I figured this would not really reveal anything to any potential competitors. Not that I would honestly expect competitors to review my blog in order to outdo me. Not that I expect to win the cook off either! That’s part of the fun.

I am not a fan of chili. I see it as a pile of meat in a tomato sauce with a bunch of spices. In researching recipes I confirmed my opinion. The challenge for me was to see if I could turn out a decent version of a standard dish that people would enjoy, rather than my usual experiments. The result? I relied on a standard recipe and did not stray too far from the normal path. More than anything, it felt like cheating, but how many unique variations of a classic can you really create? And aren’t they classics because people like them the way they are?


recipe inspired by Cooks Illustrated January/February 2011

  • 3-5 lb chicken
  • ½ c apple cider
  • ½ t tabasco sauce
  • 6 oz Kenzinger beer
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 dried chipotle peppers
  • 3 dried ancho peppers
  • 2 dried arbol peppers
  • ½ c dried kidney beans
  • ¼ c dried black beans
  • ¼ c dried chick peas
  • 1½ T corn meal
  • 1 t cocoa powder
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • ½ c chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 7 oz diced tomato (canned)
  1. Place the beans in a pot with at least twice the amount of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, cover the pot, remove from heat, and let sit for 2 hours.
  3. Rinse and dry the chicken.
  4. Place 3 chipotle peppers and two cloves of garlic in the cavity of the chicken.
  5. Tie the chicken up and roast at 450F for 15 minutes.
  6. Drop the oven temperature to 350F and continue to roast for 30 minutes.
  7. Combine the apple cider and tabasco sauce and baste the chicken.
  8. Continue to baste the chicken every 15 minutes until it is done (185F in the thigh).
  9. Remove the chicken from the pan and place the pan over a burner until the liquid starts to boil.
  10. Add about 6oz Kenzinger beer to the pan to deglaze.
  11. Strain the liquid and set aside.
  12. Carve the chicken and cut into 1&#quot; strips.
  13. Seed the ancho and arbol peppers.
  14. Chop the ancho pepper into 1" pieces and toast until fragrant.
  15. Combine the ancho peppers, arbol peppers, corn meal, cocoa powder, oregano in a food processor until well ground.
  16. Add 2 T chicken stock to the food processor to make a paste.
  17. Dice the onion and jalapeno and sautée until soft.
  18. Mince 2 garlic cloves and sautée with the onions.
  19. Combine the chili paste, onion mixture, tomatoes, stock, beans, beer and cider liquid, and chicken pieces, in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil then simmer 1½-2 hours.
  20. The chili is ready at this point but tastes even better if let to sit for a few hours or a day.

Happy Turkey Day!

November 22, 2010

Are you having turkey cooking anxiety yet? That seems to be the joke of the holiday: fear of cooking the turkey. I have cooked turkey twice and both times it was delicious and done on time. Perhaps I am missing something, but this recipe from Jacques Pépin has not failed me yet. Could it be? Have I discovered the secret to cooking turkey? If so, I figured I’d at least share!

Cider Turkey

turkey à la Jacques Pépin

Roasted Turkey

recipe from Jacques Pépin’s Thanksgiving Celebration


  • 20 lb turkey
  • 1½ c carrots
  • 2 c onion
  • ½ c sweet cider
  • 1 t Tabasco
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 c + 2 T white wine
  • 2 tsp potato starch

large pot (big enough to hold a 20 pound turkey!)
wire rack (to keep the turkey out of the water in the pot)
roasting pan
turkey baster (makes life easier)

  1. Dice the carrots and onion into ½" pieces.
  2. Prepare the turkey: place the innards (neck, gizzard, heart, liver) aside, then cut off the drumstick ends and make a 1" cut at the joint of the drumstick and thigh.
  3. Add 1½ quarts of water to the pot with a wire rack in the bottom.
  4. Place the turkey in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
  5. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low for 45 minutes.
  6. Cool enough to handle and place the turkey in a roasting pan in the oven at 350F for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour, add the carrots and onions to the pan.
  8. Combine the cider, tabasco, and salt in a small bowl and baste the turkey.
  9. Continue to cook the turkey 1 hour, until the breast and leg reach 160F. (If the turkey gets too brown, cover with foil while cooking.)
  10. Meanwhile, pour the liquid from steaming the turkey in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
  11. Skim the fat from the top and discard.
  12. Place the liquid, neck, gizzard, and heart into a saucepan and boil for 1 hour.
  13. Remove the turkey pieces to chop the meat and return to the saucepan.
  14. Once the turkey is done, pull the sinews from the drumsticks and discard (pliers work well).
  15. Keep the turkey warm in a 160F oven.
  16. Add the mixture from the saucepan to the roasting pan and combine.
  17. Return this mixture to a saucepan and let sit for 5 minutes in order to skim the fat.
  18. Dissolve the starch in 2 T wine.
  19. Add the starch and 1 c wine to the pan.
  20. Bring to a boil, salt to taste, and serve this gravy with the turkey.

There are a lot of steps in making this unconventional turkey, but it is not very complicated and turns out juicy and beautiful every time. The hardest part is finding a pot and rack large enough to steam the turkey. I got mine cheaply at a commercial kitchen supply store. Overall it takes 3 hours to cook, which is half the time of simply roasting a turkey. What is not to like about this recipe?!

There is a stuffing recipe that goes with this turkey, but I am not a big fan of stuffing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very tasty. But once I realized it’s just bread with some onions and mushrooms, I stopped making it. I opt for a wild rice alternative which is healthier and tastier, in my opinion.

High Class Hot Dogs

September 22, 2009

I got some turkey dogs in my foodshare one week. I wouldn’t go out and buy them normally. Nor would I buy hotdogs normally. But I had them so I tried cooking them in liquid as was recommended. The best liquid I had on hand was white wine. Wasn’t sure it would work but it did. Surprisingly well. So well that this is the only recipe I’ve used with the ten ‘dogs’ I had. Four left in the freezer and I’m looking forward to making this again!

high class version of the hot dog in white wine

high class version of the hot dog in white wine

White Wine Turkey Dogs

created on-the-fly by Sarah Johnson


4 turkey dogs
1/2 onion
1 c white wine
2 cloves
4 sage leaves
1 t ground white pepper
1 t anise seeds
1 T butter
1 T oil

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a pan.
  2. Slice the onions and sautee them until browned.
  3. Add the turkey dogs and brown for a minute.
  4. Add the wine to deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Bring the liquid to a boil, then simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Serving Suggestions
My favorite way to eat these ‘dogs’ is in the cooking liquid with a hunk of whole wheat bread to soak up the juice. Mmmm!

I haven’t varied this recipe yet because I’ve been so happy with it. But it’s open to different spices such as bay leaves instead of sage, fennel seeds or cumin seeds instead of anise seeds, sauerkraut instead of onions, etc. Perhaps a teaspoon of dijon mustard would add interesting flavor to the liquid?