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Recipes that include turkey

Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Meatloaf ain’t pretty but a good one is so tasty, moist, and comforting. It fills in those spaces left by the winter blues and it can be all that without being a heavy and fatty meal. This meatloaf is so tender, you could eat it after your wisdom teeth are pulled. It’s so moist, you won’t be reaching for your glass of water. Yet, I only used turkey meat, a lean protein, and besides one egg for the whole loaf, no fat is added.

As we ate it, Lon asked me, what’s making this meatloaf so moist? I listed ingredients and he kept saying, and…and…Well, that was it. No mystery gob of lard. This comfort food is healthy!

Rosemary Meatloaf


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Make Chicken Soup, Not War

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I’ve been working on this post since the beginning of winter, when I first started thinking about chicken soups. The variety of chicken soups across so many cultures is just so interesting to me. They are all different, yet share that common bond, the ability to comfort anyone, and make each of us think of home.

Chicken Orzo Soup

There isn’t anything scientific in the post. I did not set out to prove or disprove anything, or even test any theories. This is not about one being better than the others. I just wanted to try several different recipes and methods, just to take notice and appreciate what each had to offer, and each one did have something special to offer. I will make all of these again, and I hope this post is useful for you each and every winter.


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Chicken or Turkey Pasta Salad

Friday, November 27, 2009

One of my go-to recipes is a Chicken & Cucumber Pasta Salad that I posted way-way back. I’ve tweaked it and played with it many times, and you can too, though the reason I thought to post it now, is because it’s a great way to use up left-over Thanksgiving Turkey. The Asian flavors make it so drastically different, you won’t even recognize that ceremonial bird.

Chicken and Cucumber Pasta Salad


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Deli-Style Turkey Burgers

Sunday, January 18, 2009

There is a crappy little deli on 5th avenue near 23rd Street called Deli Marche, I used to eat there fairly regularly. One of my favorite sandwiches was the turkey burger. They’re low quality, but taste so good. Tonight, since we had some ground turkey meat around, I decided to try and reproduce it. I did a pretty good job (so I say)…

Turkey Burgers


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Turkey Meatball Puttanesca

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some people love olives, popping them whole, one after the other. They’re too strong for me to eat alone, but I do like the way they flavor sauces. Puttanesca is the perfect example. I had my heart set on making it when I realized I didn’t have any anchovies, so it turned into a Turkey Meatball Puttanesca. The result is a perfect winter comfort food, without being heavy and fattening. It’s actually incredibly healthy and you’ll be surprised how tender lean turkey can be.

This is one of those dishes you make in large batches because it reheats so well, and if you’re serving to company, it’s actually best the next day.


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Turkey Meatball Soup

Saturday, October 4, 2008

For some, 60 degrees F is still pretty warm. I see people out without jackets, some even in shorts. I, on the other hand, am deathly afraid of the cold and rain. I basically start preparations for hibernating around now and become home-bound by 50 degrees F. This is when I start consuming lots of soup, so here’s the first one of the season, Turkey Meatball Soup. I made the meatballs very garlicky, which combined with chicken broth is the way to keep away colds, or vampires, or your blind date. Haha


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Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

After roasting that duck the other night, we were left with excess duck fat, which we of course saved. I decided to make turkey meatballs, fried in the duck fat, for a nice twist. You won’t really taste definable duck fat, but I do think it adds to the flavor of this dish. On a separate note, I usually brunois carrots for my red sauces, because carrots add a natural sweetness. I was feeling lazy today so I decided to try shredding the carrots on a box grater and the result was great. I may end up doing it the lazy way more often.

Duck Fat Turkey Meatballs 4

*some new photos added 11/23/09


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Rosemary Meatloaf

Monday, March 10, 2008

I decided to serve my Chinese family an all-American meal, Rosemary Meatloaf, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, and Sauteed Garlic Spinach. I have to pat myself on the back for this meatloaf recipe. It was so unbelievably flavorful and moist, my brother couldn’t believe it was mostly turkey.


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Brined, Roasted Turkey

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

While growing up, my family ate turkey. And by that, you shouldn’t think we ate turkey on a holiday here or there; no, my mom was cooking at least six turkeys a year– which maybe doesn’t sound like a lot, but think of how many times you’ve cooked a turkey, or your family cooks them. This post is all about how useful turkey cooking skill is.

When I first moved out, turkey was one of the few things I cooked regularly. It’s pretty cheap and very easy to cook. I know some people get all carried away with cooking time by weight and basting and stuffing, but there is a simple way too. My mom usually bought 12-14lb turkeys, because those are what were usually readily available. To cook a turkey of this size is simple:

Instructions for Simple Turkey Roasting

  1. Place bird directly in roasting pan (not on a rack), breasts-side up, with about half an inch of water in the pan. Roast in oven at 350 deg F for one hour.
  2. Turn the turkey over, breasts-side down. Continue cooking for another hour.
  3. Turn the turkey over again, so it’s once again breasts-side up. Continue cooking about another 30 minutes, or done to your selection. This is a good time to use a cooking thermometer, look for about 161-165 deg F.
  4. Let rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 30 minutes (at least) before carving.

How easy is that!? You can fancy it up by placing aromatic veggies (onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, etc.) inside the cavity, but it’s not necessary.

Now if you want to step it up a notch, let’s talk about brining! This is my first time brining a turkey and I did a bit of research beforehand to come up with a winning brine recipe. After having done it and tasted it, Jessica and I agree, this is the best roasted turkey either of us have ever eaten. So please delight yourself with this great, new recipe

Instructions for Brined, Roasted Turkey


  • 1.5 gallons cold water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, large pieces cut in half
  • bunch of scallions
  • 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. red pepper sauce (in vinegar)
  • 2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1 cinnamon stick, cut in half

And, of course, a turkey! I used a 12.5lb turkey, unkosher turkey.

Place water and ingredients (not turkey) in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool thoroughly. Add poultry, cover and brine for 24 hours. I did this is in a huge plastic container I had, but if you don’t have one, I suggest using a huge plastic bag, and then keeping that in a pan so it doesn’t leak. In this case, I brined for 18 hours, because that timing worked better for me.

After brining, remove the turkey from the brine and dry it thoroughly with paper towels. Then set it back in the fridge for up to 6 more hours. Your goal here is to allow time for the brined protein to absorb any excess water from the skin. In my case I only did this for three hours, because, again, that timing worked for me.

Finally, I pre-heated my oven to 500 deg F, dried off the turkey once more, and cut an onion in half and shoved that into the cavity. You can put as much or as little in there as you like, but I think at least an onion is a good idea. Also if you want to tie the turkey, now is the time. I did, but you don’t have to. Then put it on a rack, in a roasting pan, and pour half an inch of water in the pan. Cook for 30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temp to 350 deg F, cover the turkey breasts with heavy aluminum foil or two layers of it, insert a thermometer, and continue cooking. Make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. We’re looking for an internal temperature of 161-165 deg F, which for this size turkey is about another 100 minutes of cooking.

When it’s done, remove it from the oven, remove thermometer, and spread the aluminum foil to loosely cover the entire bird. About 30-45 minutes later it’s ready for carving.

This will literally be the best roast turkey ever. (Fried Turkey is even better though)

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