Monday Coffee Break

Monday Coffee Break: An Ode to Some Turkeys

Not a big shocker here, folks. This weeks’s post is all about that big ‘ol bird, Mr. Turkey! With Thanksgiving only a few days away I though you might like a little bit of last minute inspiration. I know I’m always looking for that one extra jazzy thing right up to the last minute. I usually end up adjusting my holiday menus the day before because I found some cool new thing I want to try (this is great for the nerves BTW.)

I found some scrumptious looking turkey preparations this weekend while I was finishing up my menu that I want to share with all of you. I also found a  yummy gravy recipe that can be made the night before (thank God for one less thing to fit on the stove top Thanksgiving day!)

Time is a tickin’ towards Turkey Day ,so let’s away! To the Turkey mobile! O.k. clearly my sleep depravation is starting to show…sorry folks!

First up is this amazing  recipe for Turkey Two Ways, that was contributed to Food and Wine magazine by SAM MOGANNAM. This recipe is a bit intensive, or maybe I would say time-consuming…but oh man, does it look worth it. To maximize the tenderness and flavor of both, the legs and breasts are separated and prepared differently. All the turkey parts are salted and sit in the fridge for 8 hours prior to cooking, helping them to release amazing flavors.

Next is this Brined Roast Turkey Breast with Confit Legs, which features turkey legs and wings cooked in duck fat and left to confit, and a brined breast that stays super-moist. Oops, I just drooled on my keyboard. This recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine.

Now you know I can’t get through a whole post without mentioning Ina Garten, right? I guess I’m a bit of stalker…oh well. If you’re the bee’s knees it’s just what happens I guess (side note: I never  understood this saying. but I think it’s fun to say. If anyone knows the deal with this, please let me know.) Stop rambling and get to the next turkey! 

Ahem. Here we have one of my favorites by Ina Garten. I have used this recipe for a few years now, and I’ll be using it again this Thanksgiving. I prepare this Herb Roasted Turkey Breast, and serve it with the legs, which are prepped in a similar fashion, but cooked slightly differently.

This turkey recipe is another one for those who like to switch it up. It is also for those who dislike cooking that massive bird and then sweating over it as you try to carve it at the table, AKA, me. This Turkey Roulade is to die for, stuffed with sage, sausage, cranberries, and figs, and also comes from Ina Garten’s bag of tricks.

Now let’s talk about gravy, shall we? Grand. For me, gravy rules the roost, (if you will allow that poultry-realted pun) and really takes the meal over the top. I also feel that it is one of the most pain-in-the-butt things to make on Thanksgiving. It  has to be done last if you want to use the pan juices, and then it becomes a frantic juggling act to keep everything else warm while you cook it. Because of this scenario, I searched around for a gravy that you can make the night before, and I found…

This gem!  Mixed Mushroom and Tarragon Gravy,  from Bon Appetit Magazine (hey there Tarragon, nice to see you again so soon, wink -wink. What? Like you’ve never flirted with an herb before?) This looks so amazing and I love the fact that you make it the night before. I’m making this one for my holiday meal, I’ll let you guys know how it comes out (and if any of my guests throw a complete hissy because I didn’t use pan drippings in the gravy.)

So folks, that brings us to the end of Monday Coffee Break for this week. I won’t be posting a recipe this Thursday because I’ll be knee deep in turkey land…BUT, next week on Coffee Break, I’ll highlight pics from my very own Thanksgiving spread, a few ideas on what to do with leftovers, and tales of crazy family holiday mishaps (there are always a few here).

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, and may the kitchen god’s be with us as we whip, stir, baste, bake, chiffonade, saute’, and serve plates of love to all of our friends and family.

Happy Cooking!


4 thoughts on “Monday Coffee Break: An Ode to Some Turkeys

  1. Hi Rebekah,

    Gravy you can make the night before … delightful! The title of this post just cracked me up: An Ode to SOME turkeys — ha!

    And I so hear you on the adjusting of the holiday menus days before to accommodate some cool new thing you want to try. I can’t tell you how many times I do that when I’m deciding on what to make and write about each week — it really is ridiculous to the point of cartoon-absurd proportions sometimes. In those cases, I really do need to save myself from myself 😉

    I won’t be making turkey this year, but I did find myself a whole duck — send good energy my way, Rebekah — it’s the first time I’m making duck … keep those digits crossed =)

    Happy, wonderful Thanksgiving to you, Rebekah — hope it’s an absolutely fabulous one =)

  2. Christina,
    Good luck with your duck!!! You HAVE to let me know how it goes. I’ve never tackled a duck, in the kitchen or otherwise, but I really am dying to cook one up. Maybe for New Years Day… Sending positive Duck-tackling energy your way!

    Happy Thanksgiving again, and I’ll talk to you next week! Can’t wait to hear about the duck!

    1. Hi Rebekah,

      Happy post-Thanksgiving! Did you make it thru okay? How’d it go? Just surveying the aftermath 😉 It always seems to sneak up on me for some reason, and I am always so surprised when it’s once again upon us.

      Yes, the duck … I am happy to say: a solid success! It was about 5 lbs or so and took about 2 and 1/2 hours to cook. I threw in some halved potatoes with it and they were just delicious (oh, duck fat, I love you!).

      The duck itself came out looking just gorgeous, and was tasty too, but did not quite reach “legendary” status — i.e. I think it could have been tastier. I think I may just need to go back to the drawing board to do some experimenting, but for a first go of it, it turned out pretty lovely! Good change from turkey and I served it with rice stuffing, sauteed green beans, the potatoes, and orange mandarin sauce.


      1. Hi Christina,
        I have to say, it went off almost completely without a hitch, shocking!
        I of course switched up my menu last minute. The night before I was so wiped out I ended up going with the classic pan gravy, day of. I have to say though, I’m kind of glad I did. I literally had to do nothing to it but whisk in some flour to thicken it, that’s it! No extra seasoning, nothing. It was all the herbs and the wine from the turkey rub, yum yum.

        Your duck sounds awesome! I’m really excited to try making one. Also, the sides you choose sound perfect. Rice stuffing with duck, delish.

        MOnday Coffee Break is going up kind of late today, probably not until around 8-sh…maybe I should call it Monday Wine Break Tonight, lol.

        Talk soon,

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