Thanksgiving Feast

It's that time of year again! Snow is in our forecast and my oven is on. The house smells great and the kitchen is nice and warm. I love winter cooking, especially at Thanksgiving. 

Instead of a cooking a turkey today, I did a roasted chicken. I will do the very same thing to my turkey, but it's not Thanksgiving quite yet, and I am not sure my boys would let me get away with no Turkey on Thanksgiving Day! 

I love compound butters, they freeze well and add flavor to everything. Today I am making a couple of my favorites. I make them in a big batch so I have them on hand. They are great with pasta, vegetables, soups, you name it, I have a butter for it! 

Herb Butter

2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 bunch of Thyme

1 bunch of Sage

1 slightly smaller bunch of Rosemary

 

You will want to use only the leaves, stems are bitter. Chop herbs fine and mix about 3 with butter. I spread it out on a bit of saran wrap and make a log shape, wrap, and it will freeze for up to 3 months. It's great on poultry, potatoes, veggies and it's super quick to add some great flavor to chicken soup! It makes a big batch, so you will have plenty to store for later use.

 

 

Roasted Garlic Butter

2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 head of garlic

 

Cut the very top of garlic to expose garlic, place on a square of tinfoil, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 mins, or until garlic is knife tender. Let it cool and add it to the butter. I love it in potatoes, great with pasta of course, but definitely try it on popcorn! It freezes well, so wrap it up in saran wrap in a log shape and store it with your other compound butters! 

Other compound butter favorites: Blue cheese butter is great on steaks and the perfect topping on a burger, makes it that much juicier! Sage is also great to mix with butter! I love to add that one to a pasta dish, just add the butter to a pan and let it brown up a bit with the sage on low to medium heat, then add some cooked pasta and it's heaven! 

 

Herb Roasted Chicken

1 whole chicken (I always use organic, antibiotic free, they taste so much better!)

2-3 tablespoons of herb butter

 

Preheat oven to 425

Rinse chicken and pat dry, place on a shallow cooking sheet. Reach under the skin of the breast area and slide in a lump of butter, it will spread easily under the skin by rubbing on the top of the skin. I spread more all over the outside of the chicken. Then tuck the wings in behind and tie up the legs.

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Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 425, then drop temperature to 375 and roast for an additional 35-45 mins or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165. 

 

I also wanted to share a trick I learned in culinary school on how to get light and fluffy mashed potatoes! After boiling your potatoes place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper so that they don't stick. Roast them for about 10 minutes with the chicken. This steams all the water out of them so they are not a heavy, sticky mess. I always use a potato ricer.  Heat the cream or milk (whichever you prefer) before adding to the potatoes! 
 


All this Thanksgiving cooking got me thinking to what I am thankful for. I was watching CBS this past Sunday morning and they did a story on the growing communities that are being built around a working farm, and that these are popping up in large cities all over the US. It's nice to be living in the North Country where we are surrounded by farms and don't have to pay 750k to buy a house near one! In season, we are very fortunate to have farmers markets around us almost everyday of the week. My locally resourced cow is raised and butchered all within a 45 mile radius. I love it! Nothing like grass feed, locally grown beef. 

 

Military Moms News
I will be a Guest Chef at the Hops Spot in Sackets Harbor on December 12th at the 12 Beers of Christmas Celebration. Tickets are limited and sold only at the Skewed Brew in Salmon Run Mall. I also picked up a new gig for the truck next Fall. The Clayton Country Jam is moving to the Thousand Island Winery to make it bigger and better! I will be joining the line up as a food vendor. Make plans to come out! It's a special one because it will air on the Armed Forces Network. 

Thanks for checking in on our food journey, the cooking doesn't stop when the snow flies, it just comes indoors! Check back next week for another new recipe!
 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Chef Carol

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