Saturday, December 14, 2013

This Christmas part two

Joyeux Noël partie deux!

Yesterday we started this countdown to Christmas and set out on a search to become Agents of Christmas!

First step today is to clean out the refrigerator, slave KNOWS you still have something in there from Thanksgiving – get rid of it! It is no longer good and you need the space!

Start putting together ideas for what You want to serve on Christmas day. This might sound a bit early to you but really it is not. Slave asked Master what He wanted and was told Turkey white meat as long as it was juicy! Well, the thought that slave would EVER serve Master dry meat... Oh well. The point is with any kind of turkey, if you don't buy it this weekend, all you are going to find is going to be those huge 50 pounders that are about 100 years old and will take till February to thaw!

Slave picked out a frozen turkey breast yesterday and could only find a 6½ lbs one! Now that IS a lot of turkey, but it is manageable.
Slave intends to brine this bird to insure a great tasting meal. All of this has to be taken into account. Frozen turkeys are most typically injected with a sodium solution, so look for one that says “No solution”. So we begin to count backwards from the big meal itself.

According to the Butterball website certain guidelines should be followed. For instance:
As a rule, you should brine your turkey 60 minutes per pound.”
Place unopened roast (Turkey Breast) on a tray in refrigerator for 1½ to 2 days, or until thawed.”
When thawed, keep in refrigerator until ready to cook. Cook within 4 days of thawing.”

Now the Frozen Turkey breast is in my freezer. (Note: know the temps that your refrigerator maintains.) Cheap thermometers can give you an accurate idea on this. General refrigeration is usually 40 degrees and the freezer should be kept at zero to 10 below zero.
Slaves freezer is much colder than it should be so more time must be allowed for thawing.

Thawing can be done under cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, however that takes a lot of work and can be dangerous! Slave recommends that since you have the time, use it to thaw in the refrigerator.

When “the book” says it will take two days, slave allows 4 because it will keep well for four additional days under refrigeration, then there will be another overnight in the brine. So those were all taken into account and slave has decided that it will have to move the bird from freezer to lowest shelf of refrigerator on Wednesday the 18th. There will be reminders!

Let's take a break! While in the poultry section, slave found some chicken thighs so it created this recipe for you to use anytime you wish.

Shinnecock Chicken

Why Did the chicken cross Long Island?
That's really none of your business!

1 pkg Boneless skinless Chicken thighs (about 1½ lbs)
1 14.5 oz can diced new potatoes
1 14.5 oz can mixed vegetables
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (w/garlic and basil)
½ cup diced celery
½ cup minced onion
4 tbs balsamic white wine vinegar

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish

In a large frying pan brown the chicken thighs on both sides for only about 8 -10 minutes total, just want to bring color!

In a large bowl mix the drained cans of new potatoes and mixed vegetables with the celery and onion. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Now dump the UNDRAINED can of tomatoes and mix well.

Spread this in the baking pan to serve as a bed for the browned chicken thighs. Arrange them with biggest part to the outer edge of pan. Spray them well with more cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes or until their juice run clear. Chicken temps reach 170 degrees

Any left over vegetables can be heated with ½ to 1 lbs of browned beef and a sauce added, either a brown gravy or perhaps a cheese sauce.

Serving Master Indy

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

While shopping, slave has been asking: “What makes Christmas magic for you?” So far many have responded with: “Seeing my grandchildren's eyes when they open the presents.”
What can we learn from that? Not everyone is going to be around children that morning.

So what makes their eyes get that look? Is it surprise? Or could it be “That's JUST what I wanted?” How did you know? Let us tuck that thought into our hearts to think about as we continue on our quest....


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