Tag Archives: gluten-free turkey

Kids in the Kitchen: Fried Turkey

Fried turkey? In April? Yes, that’s what I thought too. But after talking Brandan out of many other (more expensive and difficult to source) ideas (Rattlesnake? Eel? Yes, there is no doubt, the boy has an imagination. If it is an animal, then he’s wondered if it could be food.), this one was doable. In my mind, there’s a seasonality to frying a turkey (and if we’re being honest here…and why wouldn’t we be…I prefer a well-roasted turkey to a fried one). That’s generally the consensus in this country, as evidenced by the lack of abundance of turkeys in the stores. With a little luck and scrounging around, I managed to find one that was in the 18-pound range. Larger than I had hoped for, but it would do.

Here’s the rub: turkey is cheap. Even in April, the turkey I purchased was 88 cents a pound. (It was a conventional turkey – I would have loved to obtain a free-range, local turkey, but again…they’re seasonal.) Frying a turkey, however, not so much. Buying enough peanut oil to fry a turkey raises the price. Mind you, nowhere near the price obtaining eel in the Dallas area, much less the price of rattlesnake (Which can be free if you hunt your own, but since I wasn’t equipped to do that, I’d have to fork over $80+ a pound online. Not happening.) However, the thrill and experience Brandan would get from dropping a gigantic bird into a deep pot of oil was well worth the price. In addition, my preference for roasted bird is outnumbered by the rest of the family, who loves the fried stuff. This would be a delicious treat for the family.  (And with luck, I could make use of the leftover meat for some enchiladas – another family favorite.)

So we got started. While many recipes for fried turkey call for brining, injecting all sorts of concoctions, and/or rubbing the bird down with a spice mixture (and trust me, they sell a lot of preservative-laden, most-likely-gluten-filled products out there to help accomplish these tasks), we opted for simple. I brought out a jar of my favorite BBQ spice rub mix (minus the sugar), and we rubbed down the turkey with the seasoning. Other than that, no further preparation was needed. Once the oil was hot, we dropped the turkey, and waited. And checked the temperature of the oil, waiting for it to come up. And waited. It wasn’t coming up. It was windy that day (we’ve had day after day this spring of very high winds), and so I was afraid that the wind was keeping the flame low. We tried to block the wind to no avail. The oil was still reading around 200 degrees F. Finally, my husband suggests to check the temperature of the turkey. (It wasn’t nearly time to start checking yet, but I agreed that we should try.) That’s when we discovered the oil thermometer was inadvertently stuck, just slightly, into the bird, thus preventing an accurate oil reading. Whoops. We remedied the situation, discovered that the oil registered an accurate 350 degrees F (that’s more like it!). Thankfully, the oil wasn’t higher than 350 degrees, as we could have entered into dangerous territory! Before we knew it, the turkey was ready to remove and allow to rest.

For Brandan, the resting was the hardest part. The aroma was incredible, and the skin was so crackly. The bird looked good. However, we managed to restrain ourselves (minus one or two small pieces of the edges of the skin) until it was carving time. That’s when the boys in our house are suddenly immensely interested in what’s going on in the kitchen, and start hovering around the carver (that’s me!), waiting to swipe a morsel from the plate. I’ve learned to work swiftly.

How was our turkey? Well, in spite of my previous opinions about turkeys in April, it was quite good. The breast meat was unbelievably moist and flavorful – the best part of the bird, we agreed. Brandan enjoyed a wing and a leg. There wasn’t much conversation from him at the table – he was too immersed in his meal. Everyone eating that evening was more than pleased. Some of the dark meat was a bit dry, as the turkey was in the oil legs-down, so they most likely got more heat exposure than the breast. In spite of that, it was still quite tasty. While I do hold true to my opinion about roast turkey over fried, I will have to say – this was a good bird! And yes, we made enchiladas the next day with leftovers, so it was double the pleasure.

Lesson learned? Next time, I will be sure to not stick the oil thermometer into whatever I am frying!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Fried Turkey

1 whole raw turkey, 16-18 lbs (make sure it isn’t basted with butter or any gluten seasonings – check the label or contact the company) (a smaller bird can be used, and even preferable, as the legs might be less prone to overcooking)

Barbeque spice rub mix (omit the sugar) – I used about 1/2 cup for our large bird, but you can use less for a smaller one

About 3 gallons of peanut oil or other high-heat frying oil

A turkey fryer and propane burner

Before starting, place your still-wrapped turkey inside your fryer pot. Fill with enough water to just cover the turkey. Remove the turkey, and look at how much water remains in the pot. This is how much oil you will need to use. (You don’t want to measure too much and risk a hot oil overflow disaster!) Pour out water and dry the pot well.

Pat the turkey dry and rub seasoning all over bird, including inside the cavity. If you have a wire holder with which to lower the turkey in the oil, place the turkey on it now.

Pour required amount of oil into your pot (I used a little less than 3 gallons). (Do this outside, away from an overhead cover. You might opt to place a large board or cardboard underneath to catch splatters.) Place the pot on the burner and light the burner. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Make sure you don’t leave the oil unattended.

Once oil is at temperature, carefully lower your turkey into the oil. Bring the oil back up to temperature (325 – 350 degrees is optimal). Your turkey should take about 3 minutes per pound to cook (my turkey took roughly an hour). Start checking the turkey’s temperature about 2/3 of the way through by inserting an instant-read thermometer deep  into the breast. Once it reads 170 degrees, remove the turkey and set it in a roasting pan to rest, covered with foil. Rest for about 30 minutes and then carve.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes

Moist and Herb-y Turkey Burgers

Lately, we have been focusing on lighter, healthier fare. Why? Well, why not? For one, the weather (The forecasted high temperature today is 106 degrees!) begs us to leave the oven off and keep the kitchen cool. The sooner I can turn off the stove (if I turn it on at all) and get dinner on the table, the less the air conditioning has to work. In addition, we would like to not have to work so hard at keeping our waistlines from expanding. Salads are great, but we can not live by salad alone. This is where burgers come in.

But in keeping with the lighter, healthier fare, (and because ground turkey was on sale) I opted for turkey burgers. Now, I have made many a burger in my lifetime. Turkey burgers, however? I’m not as experienced. I was worried that my burger would end up dry and bland. I knew I wanted to throw in a lot of herbs to boost the flavor without added fat (and because the garden is overflowing right now with herbs!). As for the remedy to a dry patty, I turned to Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Amy participated in a burger contest last year (she was a finalist!), so I knew she was a great source of information. I found a turkey burger recipe on her site, and found the secret – mushrooms. I had mushrooms in the fridge, and so I took a cue from her and threw them in the food processor. In addition, I remembered that I’ve used almond flour as a bread crumb replacement in meatballs and meatloaf in the past, and it always boosted the moisture when compared to other “breadcrumbs”. I played with the flavors a bit, and hoped my herb-y turkey burgers would come out well.

The result? These burgers are on the regular meal rotation! The husband raved about them – and when you can get my husband to enjoy turkey burgers, and not simply rate them as “okay, for turkey burgers” (and secretly wish they were beef), then it’s a recipe worth repeating. They were moist, with just the right amount of fresh herbs, and plenty of flavor from the cumin and dijon mustard. I even splurged and enjoyed mine on a Kinnikinnick bun. (Yes, Tasty Eats At Home sometimes buys pre-made buns. See reasons to keep kitchen cool above.) It was mighty tasty.

Herbed Turkey Burgers

About 6 oz mushrooms, processed until finely chopped in food processor (about 1/4 c)

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 c almond meal/flour

1 egg

1 T flaxseed meal

1 T chopped fresh parsley

2 sage leaves, chopped

1/2 t chopped fresh thyme (I used lemon thyme)

1/2 t chopped fresh rosemary

1 t dijon mustard

1/2 t ground cumin

2-3 T olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, gently mix the mushrooms, ground turkey, and the rest of the ingredients together. (I do this with my hands.) Heat a skillet to medium heat and add a bit of the olive oil. Pinch a small, marble-sized ball of the burger mixture and place it in the skillet. Brown on each side until cooked through, and taste. Adjust seasonings to the rest of the mixture as needed. (This is a great way to ensure you don’t make a bunch of bland patties – I do this for meatballs and meatloaf as well.) Form into 4 patties.

Add additional oil to the skillet. (Alternatively, you can use a grill pan or even your grill outdoors. If grilling outdoors, you might opt for a grilling basket for burgers, as these burgers are more fragile than beef burgers and more apt to fall apart. You might also try freezing them for 30 minutes before grilling to keep them together.) Place the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until browned. Check the internal temperature of the burgers, and cook until the center reaches 165 degrees F. (You might choose to put a lid over the skillet and turn the temperature down to allow the burgers to cook through.) Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Place on a gluten-free hamburger bun (or go bunless!) and top with desired condiments and toppings. I opted for dijon mustard, soy-free mayonnaise, lettuce, onion, and tomato. If you opted to go bunless, then this patty would taste delicious on top of field greens and tomatoes, with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette or honey mustard dressing.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy

Make-Ahead (Gluten-Free) Turkey Gravy and Stuffing for Holiday Food Fest

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The theme for this week’s Holiday Food Fest is Fall Dishes. If you have a favorite fall or Thanksgiving dish, please link up below to share! By doing so, you’ll enter for a chance to win a Flirty Apron! But more on that in a minute.

With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks away, I’m starting to form plans for how I will successfully host yet another big dinner for our family. Many families, including ours, have a variety of people with dietary restrictions. In our family, some cannot tolerate gluten, some cannot handle corn, and some are intolerant of sugar or dairy. I’m hoping to make a few dishes that will accommodate all of these restrictions, without sacrificing flavor. And to make it easier on myself, I’m planning ahead – making these dishes now, and freezing them until the big day.

Two of my favorite dishes to make ahead are gravy and stuffing. Yes, gluten-free gravy and stuffing! Not only is it gluten-free, it’s also sugar-free and dairy-free, so everyone can indulge in these Thanksgiving comfort foods. Making them ahead makes such a crucial difference the day of the big event. Have you ever tried to frantically make the gravy, while the bird rests, you’re finishing up other dishes, and there’s just not enough space or time? This gravy simplifies the whole process, as you only have to reheat it to serve. The stuffing only has to bake, so throw it in the oven as soon as the turkey comes out. Easy peasy! Once you have these two dishes in the bag, you can focus your energy on that beautiful bird, some mashed potatoes, or maybe a vegetable or two. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait!

blue-chocolate-front-with-bow

Don’t forget to link up below for the chance to win an apron from Flirty Aprons! They sent me one to review, and it’s wonderfully well-made, machine-washable, and so cute! The straps are adjustable, so the aprons can fit any size. Absolutely the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. Link your favorite fall or Thanksgiving recipe, and comment below letting me know you did so. If you don’t have a blog, no worries – just leave me a comment sharing your recipe! The links will be available until Wednesday, November 18, at 11:59pm CST. Please make sure you leave your email address, so I can get in touch with you if you win!

The winners for this week’s Holiday Food Fest giveaways at Hoosier Homemade are:

Pampered Chef Pie & Tart Cookbook goes to April at Gluten Free Foods Rock
 
Red Velvet Cake Candle from http://www.etsy.com/shop/countrycandles goes to Alisa at One Frugal Foodie
Please get in touch with Liz at Hoosier Homemade to claim your prize!

Don’t forget next week’s Holiday Food Fest: Gifts of Good Taste! Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt Free will be hosting, so be sure to link up your favorite edible gifts. She will be giving away a Digital Precision Pro Kitchen Scale. I’m excited about this one too! I personally love making or receiving goodies packaged as gifts – so I want to see what everyone makes!

gravy

Gluten-Free Make-Ahead Gravy, adapted from Woman’s Day

4 lbs turkey wings, or turkey wings and drumsticks

2 medium onions, sliced

1 c water

8 c chicken broth

1 chopped carrot

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/2 t thyme leaves, chopped

1 t fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 t sage leaves, chopped

1/2 c potato starch

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey wings/drumsticks in a single layer in a roasting dish; scatter onions on top. Roast for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until turkey is browned.

Put turkey and onions into a large saucepan or pot. Add water to roasting pan, stir to scrape up brown bits. Add water to saucepan. Add 6 cups of broth (refrigerate the remaining 2 cups), carrot, celery, and herbs. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove turkey and set aside. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin; reserve meat for another use. Strain broth into saucepan; skim fat off of broth.

Bring broth to a gentle boil. In a separate bowl, whisk the potato starch with the remaining 2 cups of broth until smooth. Whisk into broth, simmering 5 minutes to thicken gravy. Sprinkle pepper over, taste; add additional salt if necessary.

You can freeze gravy for up to a month. Reheat, whisking as necessary. You can even add fat-skimmed drippings from the turkey to the broth before serving. Makes 8 cups.

stuffing

Gluten-Free Stuffing, adapted from The Pioneer Woman and The Gluten-Free Homemaker

1 recipe gluten-free french bread, cubed, or about 4 cups of any cubed gluten-free bread (I used agave nectar instead of sugar in the recipe)

1/4 c olive oil

3 c butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 onion, diced

1 c celery, diced

2 c low-sodium chicken broth

2 T fresh parsley, chopped

1 t fresh rosemary needles, chopped

1/2 t sage leaves, chopped

1/2 t thyme leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour, or until sufficiently dried out. Place cubed bread in a large bowl.

In a large skillet, place 1 T of the olive oil. Bring to a medium heat and add butternut squash. Saute until tender, but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add remainder of oil, and add onions and celery. Saute for a few minutes more, until onions are translucent.

Add broth and herbs to the onion-celery mixture, and bring to a boil. Add butternut to bread cubes and toss. Ladle broth mixture over bread cube mixture, tossing after each ladle, tasting the whole way. Salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture isn’t quite moist enough, add more broth and toss again.

At this point, you can either place in a baking dish, or stuff your bird. If baking right away in the baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If stuffing your bird, stuff just before you are ready to roast your turkey. What did I do? I placed the stuffing in a baking dish, wrapped it tightly, and placed in the freezer to save for Thanksgiving. (I only baked a little amount just for the photo – and a taste test.) I’ll defrost in the refrigerator for a day before Thanksgiving, and bake it for 25 minutes or so in the oven, until it’s browned. Might even put some turkey drippings over and toss, just for added flavor. 

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Side Dishes