A 14-pound Thanksgiving turkey? Roasted in less than 90 minutes? [Ed. note: You're really jumping the shark with this one.]
No, it's true! This turkey is truly a Thanksgiving life-saver. No wet brining (a nightmare) or basting (keep that oven door closed). Last week's "blog test" bird was so sumptuous the BF forgave me for not serving stuffing with it.
The secret: butterflying (a.k.a. spatchcocking) the bird and giving it a dry salt brine. You get a crispy, salty skin, juicy meat on the inside, and boy my brother Mike loves the word "spatchcock."
For directions on how to spatchcock a turkey, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has the perfect walk-through here: www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/how-to-spatchcock-cook-turkey-thanksgiving-fast-easy-way-spatchcocked.html. The bird will have to be prepared this way before you make the dry salt and baking powder brine.
Last year for Thanksgiving, the BF and I hosted six guests and served a 14-pound spatchcocked turkey. Baked it at high heat for 85 minutes. The skin practically cracked when you picked at it, the meat was succulent and moist. This is now the one and only way I ever roast chicken or turkey.
Need further testimony? Serious Eats' Lopez-Alt explains, "Spatchcocking is a method of removing the turkey's backbone to flatten its body prior to putting in the oven. This flatter shape ensures that the meat cooks more evenly and more quickly, allowing the legs to reach a safe temperature without overcooking the breast. The result is hands-down the easiest, most reliable route to a juicy, moist turkey with incredibly crisp skin. It may not look like a traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece, but your tastebuds will certainly thank you."
The BF, Marlowe and I thank you and wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
PS: A year ago we geared up for the holidays with this gingerbread roll with eggnog whipped cream (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/gingerbread-roll-with-eggnog-whipped-cream). Everyone wants a log. [Ed. note: From Blammo™.]
Adapted from: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Serious Eats
Number of servings: 10-12
Directions - Butterflying/Spatchcocking Turkey
Ingredients - Dry-Brine (prepare 24-48 hours ahead of time)
Ingredients - Turkey
Most evenings, it's just the BF and I having dinner, so I typically halve recipes.
This is an exception.
The full portions are made here because, well, the leftovers are incredible. It also means that our Marlowe can enjoy some bits with her kibble. [Ed. note: CHIMKINNNN! Yes, I speak dog.] The finished product comes out juicy, flavorful, with a crispy skin.
PS: Last year we were really in an Oktoberfest kinda mood when we broke out the sautéed cabbage with caraway (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/sauteed-cabbage-with-caraway). Even worked in the movie Strange Brew. [Ed. note: Take off!]
PPS: The BF spun off the planet when I made these salted espresso fudge brownies. [Ed. note: CAN I HAVE SOME MORE MAN I NEED SOME ELSINORE BEER TO COME DOWN FROM THE RRRRRRRRR] (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/salted-espresso-fudge-brownies).
Adapted from: Dennis the Prescott
Number of servings: 6–8
Sometimes the single picture is worth the thousand words. Just look at this reddish bronzed skin! The BF often tells me that he loves the simplest roasted chicken dishes, and this one couldn't be easier. Adapted from Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat, this recipe encompasses two whole ingredients. Three, if you count salt. Genius.
The buttermilk and salt work like a brine, tenderizing the meat to yield an unbelievably juicy chicken with crispy, gorgeously intense-colored skin. Be sure to leave 24 hours for marinating. I streamlined the recipe a bit, as well as decreased the amount of salt in the marinade.
One of the best things about roast chicken is that you can serve it with anything. Try it with these side dishes:
Adapted from Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat blog and Netflix special of same name.
Number of servings: 4
Hey there, folks. Guest blogger here. It's the editor. You know, the guy who chirps pithy, yet spectacularly irrelevant input [in brackets].
Wanted to detail a wonderful birthday meal that came a day early for Chef Jacquie, who of course will be working on her birthday (today) for a client, incidentally one of the first attorneys for Facebook. Goes without saying: please click the ad links, visit a sponsor, like the blogs, share them, spread them far and wide, and thank you so much. It comes out to literally dollars of revenue. Lamborghinis on layaway. But I digress.
Won't lie. Jacquie spoils me with food that makes it difficult for restaurants to impress. Often we visit a place that has high marks from the San Francisco Chronicle, yet find ourselves looking at each other like a deer staring at an oncoming truck, eyes screaming, "Meh."
China Live (644 Broadway), the brainchild of George Chen, is a 30,000-square-foot "education in Chinese cuisine" in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown. Sporting everything from a retail store to a bakery, high-end bourbon bar, demonstration kitchen, flower mart, and multiple restaurants, it's the polar opposite of meh.
For our midday meal we sampled a wide array of their sophisticated–this isn't your grandma's Chinese takeout–dishes. Mostly smaller starters, but we did partake in the highly recommended Crackling Skin Cantonese Fragrant Garlic Chicken, which did not disappoint. Gorgeous.
However, the starters-appetizers stole the show. Am not just saying that because we enjoyed a Szechaun Starlet* during.
Below, Kurobuta Pork Char Siu with Hot Mustard. Food porn that tasted as good as it looked.
Shan Dong Shui Jiao "Water Dumplings" (Chive and Pork) with Dipping Sauce.
The favorite, Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Spring Handrolls with Dual Dipping Sauce. Am considering driving back to San Francisco to order about 400 of these for Sunday's Super Bowl. Again, please like, share, and click those ads. [deadpan-face emoji]
Not pictured, we also had some lovely Peking Duck in Sesame Pockets with Kumquat Glaze and Traditional Condiments. We couldn't get a picture because the kumquats refused to sign the appropriate model release form.
Silliness aside, it's always special to share amazing food with someone who truly knows something about amazing food.
Chef, I love you, and your short arms (#selfieproblems). Happy birthday.
By the way, she is 27.
*Szechaun Starlet: Black Tea-infused Angel's Envy Bourbon, Cardamaro Amaro, Campari, Szechuan Peppercorn Bitters and a splash of bubbles
PS: Hey, the dog writes, too. Marlowe, you're hired. You also look especially cute as a UPS driver. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mini-butterscotch-apples)
PPS: A year ago, she made her own chocolate birthday cake. Because she was tired of cakes that looked better than they tasted. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/happy-birthday-to-me-chocolate-cake-and-chocolate-sour-cream-frosting)
PPPS: Plans are in place to relaunch this blog in a newer format, where we may or may not start including subjects outside of the regular recipes. This originated out of a sole proprietership business that Chef Jacquie built, which is a big part of the story. So we're considering the occasional foray into the business-side, or an occasional restaurant-meal review. We're an open book, so please comment below on what you would like to see in the future. And again, thank you.
It's so rainy, windy, and grey here in the San Francisco bay area, it's actually reminding me of my native Oregon. Something that always cures the greyness is soup, and the BF and I have been enjoying this one a lot lately. As you know, am not a fan of eating the same thing two nights in a row, but we're actually going on three! [Ed. note: Oh no not another ToS violation.]
This takes no time at all to put together, and reheats very well. It's also not a super spicy soup, unless you want it to be. Depends on the salsa. I used my favorite Frontera brand Tomatillo Salsa and added one serrano pepper to the jalapeños as the BF and I do enjoy a bit of a kick.
Final note, this is delicious served with white rice in it (or as a side), which helps offset the spiciness.
Adapted from: A Pinch of Yum
Number of servings: 4-6
PS: One year ago the BF/editor made me seriously LOL when he snuck in a Gollum/Lord-of-the-Rings GIF into a recipe for baked cod (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/baked-cod-with-sherry-herbs). [Ed. note: #SorryNotSorry]
Tonight at sundown begins Yom Kippur. For 25 hours we will fast. [Ed. note: A WHOLE DAY AND AN HOUR DEATH WHERE IS THY STING?] This “Day of Atonement” (English translation) isn't Hanukkah, but it's the holiest day of the year, and a day to begin the new year with a fresh start.
When I was young, my mamala used to make her famous roast chicken before the fast and another one to break fast. We lived in a small town about 200 miles (round trip) from the nearest synagogue in Portland, Oregon. By the time services were over, and it was past sundown, we made it home around 8:00pm and started roasting a chicken we didn't actually eat until 10:00pm. It was a long day and we were all pretty hangry [Ed. note: A technical term.] by that point!
Although hardly traditional Jewish fare, this Mexican-marinated roast chicken is the perfect way to start the fast and it will be an easy and equally delicious meal to break fast. Best of all, I prepared everything ahead of time, so I didn't have to start the process after work.
A word about the marinade: you're probably thinking mayonnaise is an odd choice, but it's not. It works. The Best of Fine Cooking explains, "Mayonnaise is the perfect base for marinade as it takes the place of oil and keeps the marinade ingredients suspended. The lime juice cuts through the richness of the smoky chipotle and the beer adds depth of flavor."
The spice level is relatively mild, for my taste. If you like a bit more kick, like the BF and I do, add an additional ¼ - ⅓ cup of purée to the mayo.
Serve this chicken with anything! We made burrito bowls, but it's perfect served in a tortilla as a burrito or taco. Our side dishes included saffron rice, black beans, pickled red onions, avocados and a delectable cilantro vinaigrette that was so good, it will have its own blog entry very soon.
To all of my tribe, wishing you a meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast.
Adapted from: The Best of Fine Cooking, Mexican, 2018
Number of servings: 4-6
NOTE: You can make the marinade ahead of time. Tightly covered, the marinade (with mayo) will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Labor Day weekend. The end of summer. [Ed. note: Fact check = BOO] Baseball pennant races and the beginning of football season. [Ed. note: Fact check = YAY] During my childhood it was family gatherings, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon [Ed. note: Fact check = LADY], and literally the next day, the beginning of school. [Ed. note: Fact check = BOO REDEUX] A time many of you fire up the grill, and yet maybe some of you are looking for a healthy alternative.
It's not that I actively solicit requests (although to be clear, please never be afraid to reach out!), but for years this healthy chicken parmesan has been a hit with clients, friends, and family, and they all demand the recipe. The common comment usually revolves around how deceptively healthy this is. Sporting unbreaded chicken and loaded with vegetables, even the BF has said it feels like a pasta-inspired "cheat" that…really isn't. [Ed. note: Fact check = TRUE]
The dish is tasty any time of year. In summer, you can't beat a vegetable medley of zucchini, yellow zucchini, carrots and parsnips. In winter, instead of zucchini I substitute rutabaga, kohlrabi, butternut squash or celery root. Bonus: it's low carb, gluten free, grain free, and ready in under an hour. Perfect for weeknights, and if you are tending a summer garden as we approach Labor Day, this is a wonderful way to utilize those vegetables.
If you own one, you can use a Spiralizer, but I actually found it much easier to simply use a hand-held julienne peeler (see photo below). Last September, I used the same inexpensive tool to whip up the Vegetable Noodle Nest with Soft Boiled Egg. www.moveablefeast.me/blog/vegetable-noodle-nest-with-soft-boiled-egg
Of note, almost all Spiralized or juilienned vegetables (especially root varieties) hold well for several days in the fridge, with the exception of zucchini, which tends to get a little limp and watery after a day. After Spiralizing the veggies, wrap them in a paper towel and place in a Ziplock bag. Get all the air out of the bag, and presto, you're done. For myself and the BF, the meal prep occurs at the beginning of the week, and all I have to do is sauté the veggies when dinner time comes around. To quote the immortal words of my spirit animal Ina Garten, "How easy is that?"
Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend, and repeating: if you see anything on the other sections of my web site (i.e., photos) that you'd like to see a recipe blog post for, let me know in the comments below or reach out on any of the social media platforms listed. [Ed. note: We also accept e-mail, snail mail, carrier pigeon, smoke signals, drums, etc.]
Inspired by: Giada De Laurentiis, FoodNetwork.com
Number of servings: 4
Vegetables (While the chicken is in the oven...)
Sometimes my BF and I like a little heat. Not scorch-your-tongue-off heat, but enough to have a little pop. Not sure why Halloween brings cravings for spicy food, perhaps I'm equating spicy-heat with devils and vampires.
This chicken is a one-pan meal with a side dish to boot, very simple to make, and packed with flavor. (Did you know you can stuff practically anything under the chicken skin for extra flavor? I've stuffed a mixture of spinach, mushroom, and Manchego cheese under the skin as well as several kinds of compound butters–truffle, garlic, lemon, herb–and it's out of this world.)
I found this jalapeño chicken recipe in the delightful cookbook Casa Marcela, by Marcela Valladolid. As she says, "For this one, you'd think there's so much heat from the raw jalapeño, but during the roasting it mellows out ... It also serves as a barrier between the flesh of the chicken and the direct heat in the oven, so the breast stays nice and moist."
I varied the peppers a bit because many jalapeños I find in local groceries are so mild they taste like green bell peppers. You can stick with just jalapeño (like Valladolid's recipe), or spice it up and use a mixture of serrano, fresno, jalapeño and/or even poblano. It's spicy, but not too spicy.
The chicken is roasted with baby potatoes so you have a side dish ready when the chicken is. In my house, we also serve this with black beans and/or rice for a South-of-the-Border-style meal. You can even shred the chicken for tostadas, enchiladas, or tortilla soup.
NOTE: Use latex gloves when handling chilies!
Adapted from: Casa Marcela, by Marcela Valladolid
Number of servings: makes 1 roast chicken
Top to bottom: jalapeño, fresno (red) and serrano peppers
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.