Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The turkey. In a countertop roaster. It shouldn't work but WOW, it does.

I did the turkey, in an electric roaster.  There are ups and downs to this roaster, I'll detail later BUT in the mean time.....

AT the moment, I am not going to tell you WHICH roaster I have.  As I said, I am hoping to test different brands and offer you a real option as to where to spend your money
I tested with a pork roast.  Perfectly juicy.  Perfectly tender.
I tested with rolls, they say you can bake in these things.  You can!
I tested with muffins and cookies and biscuits.  You CAN!

Finally, I tested with a turkey breast, delicious, juicy, tender.  I did 30 minutes/lb at 450 then reduced to 325 for another 30.  Turned the roaster off. Left it to rest an hour and sliced.  Gorgeous.

THEN the main event, 14 lb bird, 1 hour 52 minutes. Juicy, tender, delicious, tender.  Best gravy made from the turkey juices.  Wow. After the holiday I'll write out long winded details so you can do this for Christmas.  BUT this is how I did it this time: PREHEAT roaster to 450PREP the turkey, dry it, salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning (just a bit) inside and out.PUT a carrot, onion and celery and the neck in a foil pan. PUT on a rack in the preheated roaster.DRIZZLE olive oil on the bird and add about a cup of water to the hot roaster, around the foil pan. ROAST at high temperature for 45 minutes.  Do not open the lid.REDUCE temperature to 325, leave to do it's thing for a total of 8 minutes per pound, INCLUDING the 45 minutes hot roast time.  I did mine a total of 1 hour and 52 minutes.  Temp the bird if you must at this point, 165 in the breast, it'll increase while it rests.TURN the roaster off and leave it closed, leave the bird for 45 to an hour to rest. OR you can take it and out and tent it, resting is key.  This makes the best gravy of my life, really intense flavor.  IF you remove and tent, be sure to drain of all the juice and make gravy!!!  CRAZY delicious, crazy tender, crazy method that should dry the bird out but just doesn't.   You need one of these roasters.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love me some counter top appliances. I'm hoping to test the Nesco, Oster and/or Rival roasters so we can all turn off our ovens!

I've received a load of requests for recipes, reviews and insights into the countertop electric roaster.

I'm in the process of trying to put hands on different brands to test, review and develop recipes.  I will find groovy ways to use these things for more than roasting a massive bird for a holiday. When I get going, I will start inundating you with great ideas for Holiday cooking.

No, I don't think you need to be a crowd to use one, to need one.

Just a quick note to let you know what's in the works. I'm borrowing a friends right now but think there's got to be a better version than this...

Although.....  look at these birds!

Pretty?  Hell no
Delicious, OH grief YES YES YES

I'll share my recipes and my techniques when I get my own roaster.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BAGS! Wine bags are up on my Etsy store TracyMakesIt and you need them :)

The coolest part of this food blog gig is the blatant self promotion.  Ok it's not, the coolest part it cooking with cooking types and talking food with food types and sharing what I do  BUT the other cool part is blatant self promotion.

On top of cooking and writing about it, I sew.  I LOVE to create stuff and I've been called a fiber artist but that title seems too hipster, I sew, let's leave it at that.

I sell quite a few Bread Bags and if you haven't had a look, go take a peek.  I use them all the time for everything.

I am in a Maker Faire next week, it's a private sale so I am putting the cool bags I've made on my Etsy shop so everyone can buy them.  At the moment, I only ship within the USA but I am looking into finding cheaper ways to ship worldwide so all of you can inundate your friends with wine in my bags.

Here they are, take a look, see if there's anything you dig and then head over to my store.  IF you message me that you saw the link here I'll cut you a deal because we foodie types have to stick together.

Check out what came out of my head.  They are linen or ticking and I printed the images onto them.

OH and I'll get back to food now, thanks!!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, my stovetop version, Easy, Cheap, Delicious and they taste like chicken!!

Let's begin.  Firstly, I will acquiesce that yes, there are a zillion ways to cook chicken.  There are even more ways to cook boneless, skinless, chicken thighs.  *I* cook chicken thighs a thousand ways.  I usually use thighs with both skin and bone BUT I have been known to divert and go both skinless and boneless. This is one of my quickie 'go to' versions.

It's stove-top but you can easily shove it in the oven if you don't want to look at it.  Looking at it is really the only involvement you have after the initial cook so that's why I keep it on the stove-top, so I feel involved and as though I'm doing something :)  Love food that deals with itself.  That being said, let's cook it.

My easy Chicken thighs, stove-top version 

A pack of chicken thighs, I found boneless skinless thighs on sale for $2.99 for 8, seriously you can't beat that.

whatever herbs or spices you like (I use thyme and sometimes sage)
plain oil

chicken stock (or water, Truly, don't not make this for want of stock)

Quickie instructions; 

Season, flour and fry thighs in batches.  Drain out most of the oil and fill pan half way with stock, bring to a boil.  Scrape up any stuck bits, that's the flavor there baby. Return chicken to pan, lower heat, cover and simmer till cooked, up to 45 minutes, you can't really overcook this and the longer is better because the chicken just gets more tender

I serve with mashed potatoes and something orange or something green


LONG version with the photographs and play by play instructions 

I don't like to wash dishes, yes I have a dishwasher, that doesn't matter, I like few dishes.  SO, to that end, I marinate, season and prep all of my meat in my sink.  Yes, I wash it.  Yes, I disinfect it.  Yes, I hear you telling me not to but I am going to anyway.  So, now we have that out of the way, let's cook this.

Take thighs and put the in your clean sink, season liberally and sprinkle, also liberally, with flour.

Let them fry, on a pretty high flame until they are crispy and beautifully brown.  Do not touch them till you're going to flip them,
When the batches are done, put them on brown paper to drain a bit.

Drain off most of the fat left but leave the bits!  Long live the bits!!  Add some stock to the pan and bring to a boil, scrape your bits!  Bring it to a hard boil and return the chicken to the pan.  Turn the pan to low, cover it and leave it to simmer and do lovely happy things.  I leave it a healthy 30-40 minutes.  The chicken just gets more tender and succulent.  Use the time to make veggies or have a glass of wine, that's my go-to.

IF you can't cope with a pan on the stove, toss it in a low oven for 45 minutes or so.

When it's done, it looks like this, lovely and soft and juicy and unctuous.  All the right food words, all the right flavors. You can cut it, for samples, with a spoon!  I live for samples, you can probably imagine.  It's pretty important to sample.  You will want to sample this, over and over.  Truly.  It's so gloriously pure in it's chicken flavor. 

I don't give any excuse or explanation to not adding onions or other flavors here.  This is meant to be easy and delicious and it is.  It tastes more like chicken than most of the chicken dishes you make, I promise you. 

Now, when it's done and you want to eat, you can take the lid off and let the sauce reduce a bit, you can take the chicken out and add a little cream and nutmeg to make it richer (that's what I am about to do) or you can simply serve it up and eat it. 

I will post update pics later today but I wanted to get the basics down for you in case you have chicken thighs in your fridge, or freezer and realize you have to have this for dinner. 

I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think...