Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday turkey cooking

It started badly when the first batch of kale that I put on to wilt a bit burned. That'd be because I forgot to add a drop of water and I was sorely tempted to just give up then and there.  Still, since I'd bought all that meat I had to persevere.  So, trying to ignore the smell of burnt cabbage (I bet I'm popular with the neighbours today), I put on a second batch, glad that the Germans love kale so much they sell it in very large portions.  I still have a small amount left, which I am going to attempt kale crisps with but with the smell of the burnt stuff still lingering in my memory, I've decided to leave that until tomorrow.

I'm trying out two recipes from the Ultimate Recipes Low-Fat cookbook I mentioned yesterday.  One calls for part-boned chicken breasts and the other for chicken drumsticks.  Since I was a bit late to the market yesterday there wasn't much in the way of these choice cuts left.  Deciding to be frugal and make do with what was already there rather than just buying expensive fillets or getting them to chop up a few more chickens, I went instead for turkey - wings and legs (the lower part of the leg, which I suppose is a drumstick, isn't it?).  When I got to the veg farmers at the market all the chard (which I had planned on since there's no spinach available yet) was already gone so I got the kale instead.  Instead of ricotta, which is only available in the supermarket, I got cream cheese, which is available from a local farmer at the market.  And I could get it with garlic and chives already in it, which was good as I only had one small bunch of fresh garlic left and needed some for both recipes.  I was absolutely sure that I had wholemeal flour, as well as fennel seeds and bay leaves in the cupboard but it turns out I was wrong.  So I used ordinary white flour, left out the bay leaf and used dill and celery seeds instead of fennel.  I did check the internet for suggestions of good spices to use instead of fennel but overall I have to admit I am happy to have reached a stage where I'm not too nervous to substitute for what I can get rather than paying large amounts of money for lesser quality produce that has been flown in from far away.

What I do like about this particular book is that each recipe is on one page only and as well as a photograph of the finished dish, they include far more useful smaller photos of some of the steps.  There is also a nutrition guide given for each dish, if that's the kind of thing that floats your boat.  I made quite a few changes to accommodate what I had available to me so here's my version of garlicky chicken cushions.

Garlicky turkey cushions (adapted from Ultimate Recipes Low-Fat)
4 turkey legs
2 large handfuls kale, cooked in a small amount of water (covered) for about 30 minutes, then drained/water pressed out in sieve - final amount just over 250ml/2 cups which I allowed to cool for a few minutes and then mixed well with
1 small tub cream cheese with garlic and chives

1 onion, chopped
1 x 500ml jar tomatoes
100ml vegetable stock
About half a small jar of sliced green olives
Salt and pepper, olive oil

For the sauce I friend the onion in olive oil in my large oven-proof sauteuse and then stock, tomatoes, olives and small amount of salt and pepper added to that.  While that was coming to the boil I pulled the skin of each turkey leg away on one side and stuffed in about a quarter of the kale and cream cheese mix.  I secured the skin back down with some cocktail sticks.  Then I placed the turkey legs on top of the sauce and put the pan in the oven, uncovered, at 200c.  The serving suggestion is for with pasta but I think this would go well with rice.  I still have twenty minutes or so to decide.

Rustic turkey and orange pot (adapted from Ultimate Recipes Low-Fat)
2 turkey wings, cut into two pieces
1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp olive oil
3 smallish red onions
1 small bunch fresh garlic
1.5 teaspoon mix of dill and celery seeds
Salt and pepper
Grated rind and juice of one large orange
1 x 500ml jar of tomatoes
1 x can of cannellini beans, drained

I dipped the turkey pieces in the flour and then fried them briefly in the olive oil, then added then to a deep pot (my good casserole dish is still in a friends' house - I brought it there before my holidays for a potluck dinner and was lazy enough to leave it there for them to wash in their dishwasher and had forgotten about it until I needed it.  Typical).  Added the onions and garlic to the pan with a touch more olive oil and fried gently for a few minutes.  Just for fun I also added the spices to the pan to toast for a few seconds before adding all of that to the pot with the turkey, the tomatoes, orange and beans.  That's just cooking on the stovetop now rather than in the oven since I can't fit two things in the oven at once.  It's supposed to be finished off by topping with cubes of bread tossed in olive oil but I think I will leave that until tomorrow.

Half of these dishes will go into the freezer for future use and the rest will be eaten as leftovers this week.  Well, that's the plan anyway.  Best of all for now is that I've been a good little chef and cleaned as I went along so that the only washing up to do this evening will be the two pots and the dishes I use to eat from.  Having managed to get all of the washing-up done yesterday and put away first thing this morning, it would have killed me to be looking at more stuff waiting to be washed this evening.

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