RECIPE: Post Thanksgiving Turkey, Brown and Wild Rice Casserole

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I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!
SO now you have a giant turkey carcass to deal with. And you are tired of turkey sandwiches, aren't you?

This baby uses up a ton of turkey meat in a delicious and easy one dish casserole. This was a big hit with the family. I made this while cooking the carcass in a large stock pot with water and vegetables to make a base for a turkey soup. Not bad, eh?
Waste not want not!

This casserole was perfect to throw together while decorating for the holidays. You can prep the green beans and the rice and just chill it until you are ready to put this all together and throw it in the oven. The holidays are busy, and you need some easy dinner solutions this time of year. Keep this one close at hand. I think you can sub in left over chicken and it would be just as delicious.

On to the holiday crazy!

Post Thanksgiving Turkey, Brown and Wild Rice Casserole

1 8 oz. pre sliced package of button mushrooms
2-3 cups trimmed green beans, cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 Tbsp. butter
salt and fresh ground pepper
2-3 cups shredded or cut up left over turkey meat
6 oz. sour cream
1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 cup brown and wild rice blend cooked in 2 1/2 cups chicken stock until tender
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2-3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


Blanche the green beans in hot water until just tender about 5-8 minutes. Set aside. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic until just tender, then add the mushrooms. Add the dried parsley and saute until the mushrooms begin to release their juices.

Toss the green beans into the mushrooms, and mix until everything is heated through and the green beans cooked a little bit in the garlic. In a large bowl, mix the turkey with the cooked brown rice mixture. Once the green beans and mushrooms are ready, add a touch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Toss into the turkey mixture and mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the soup with the sour cream. Add it to the turkey and vegetable mixture. Combine it well. Preheat oven to 350˚.

 Spray a 13 x 9 pan with non stick cooking spray. Pour the casserole mixture evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until puffy and golden brown on top. Let sit for a few minutes before serving hot.

RECIPE: "What do I do with these egg whites?" Cake

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I've been doing a lot of baking for the holidays, as I am sure you are too! Last weekend, I ended up with 5 egg whites left over from my flurry of cookie dough prep. People have told me that egg whites are freezable. I have never tried it. I usually like to make something with them quickly, but I am not a huge fan of angel food cake, meringues, or egg white omelets. I hate throwing away food, so I resolved to come up with a go-to cake recipe for egg whites. I did some digging. I found a basic sugar cake recipe floating around the web. I adapted it to suit my approach to baking, my amount of egg whites and my tastes. I tried using my snow flake cake mold for this cake. But I am going to warn you-even with it being non stick, using a non stick spray and a healthy sprinkling of flour, it still stuck. I recommend using a simple pan and lining it with parchment. The egg whites and sugar make it a touch sticky.

You can use butter instead of shortening, but my guess is it will feel denser and richer-and add calories. But hey-it's the holidays. Calories, what?!?

"What do I do with these egg whites?" Cake


4-5 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
confectioners sugar for sprinkling on top


Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray a 9 x 13 pan or a bundt pan, or a 10" pan  with 2" sides with non stick cooking spray. Lay parchment paper on the bottom and spray again. Cream the sugar with the shortening. Add the milk, and whip. The shortening will separate and look like curdled milk. Mix in the almond and vanilla extracts and salt until well combined.

Mix the flour with the baking powder. in a small bowl. Turn the mixer on low, and gently beat in the dry ingredients into the wet. Next, mix in the egg whites, and whip until just combined.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake on the middle rack for about 40 minutes, or until cake is puffy and golden and toothpick comes out clean. Once cooked through, let pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Once cooled, sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar. Serve with tea or coffee. It could also go really well with some fresh vanilla whipped cream.

RECIPE: Slow Roasted Herb Crusted Chicken and Potatoes

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What is the best thing on a chilly weekend for dinner? Anything slow roasted in the oven, making your whole house smell delicious and keeping you free to do other housework (ahemm, or watch old movies). So yesterday I wanted to slow roast a chicken, and I wanted an herb rub that was a little different than my typical lemon and garlic go-to. So I went to Pinterest for inspiration and found a great recipe posted by blog that I really enjoyed, and will continue to visit, called The Bitten Word. Their purpose is to cook religiously from all their food magazines they get, complete with notes and commentary. They posted a chicken recipe originally authored by Bon Appetit. I found the herb rub of red pepper flakes, fennel seeds and marjoram very intriguing. Marjoram is the milder, sweeter cousin of oregano, and isn't used very often. Fennel has an anise flavor that's usually found in Asian dishes. 

But I changed a few things. I used a pyrex pan, because I liked the higher pan sides to gather more juice for a gravy and so I wouldn't lose any potatoes overboard. I added garlic, and I doubled the herb rub and rubbed the potatoes, too. I also brined the chicken, and I baked the chicken on a slightly higher temperature and on convection roast. This sped up cooking slightly, so depending on your oven, you need to keep a close eye on the chicken the last hour, and you may need to cook it at my higher temp or the lower 300˚.

This baby takes 2 1/2-3 hour, depending. First hour, I roasted the chicken breast side up. Then I flipped it in hour 2, then flipped it back up the final hour. This is a trick I do for my chickens and turkeys. It keeps the breast meat very moist. Baste throughout, and reserve the juice. All that yummy makes a delicious gravy.

Sunday dinner is calling my friends. Get your roast on!

Slow Roasted Herb Crusted Chicken and Potatoes


1 3 1/2-4 lbs. whole chicken
water, 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup sugar (for the brine)

2-3 lbs. Yukon gold or small red potatoes
1 head of garlic, cut in half and some of the outer skin peeled off
1 lemon, quartered
4 tsp. fennel seeds
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. granulated garlic
4 Tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves, chopped, plus 4-6 sprigs
4 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus 4-6 sprigs
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
6 Tbsp. olive oil, plus 2 for drizzling the bottom of the pan

1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup chicken broth
reserved dripping and juice from the pan, fat separated


 Take the organ meat packet out of the cavity of the chicken and discard. Rinse the chicken. In a large bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the cold water. Place the chicken in the bowl and let brine for an hour.

Meanwhile, in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind together the garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Mix with the chopped marjoram and thyme, salt and pepper. Mix with the 6 tablespoons of olive oil until a paste is formed.

Rinse the potatoes. Halve or quarter the potatoes, depending on the size, then slice down along the top to the center of the potato, 3-4 cuts on each. This allows olive oil and flavor to soak into the flesh of the potatoes.

Divide the herb paste in half, and take one half and rub the spices all over the potatoes. Let them sit in the herbs while you prep the chicken. Preheat the oven on convection bake for 300-325˚. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil along the bottom of a large pyrex pan. Drain the chicken from the brining solution after 1 hour of brining. Rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat dry with a paper towel. With the rest of the herb mix, rub the chicken inside the cavity, under the skin and outside the skin, top and bottom. Place on the pyrex pan. Stuff the cavity with the garlic, lemon, thyme and marjoram sprigs. Cinch the cavity closed with trussing needles of toothpicks. I did not truss the legs. I preferred to let the chicken sit flatter in the pan for even cooking. Nestle the potatoes around the chicken in the pan. Rub any left over herb paste on the potatoes and chicken. Roast in the center of the oven.

After the first hour, flip the bird, breast side down. Roast for another hour. Then the last hour, flip the bird right side up. Baste often with pan juices and keep basting and turning the potatoes. Roast until the thickest part of the breast/thigh area reads 165-170˚ on a meat thermometer. Let rest 10 minutes on  cutting board before carving. The chicken should take 2 1/2-3 hours.

While the chicken is resting, pull the potatoes out and cover loosely to keep warm. Drain the pan juices and separate the fat and discard. Heat the juices in a saucepan to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth and add it to the saucepan, reserving a couple tablespoons of broth in a small ramekin. In that ramekin, mix in the corn starch until smooth and dissolved. Simmer the liquid in the saucepan for 10 minutes, reducing it slightly. Then add the corn starch mixture, and simmer until it's thickened.

Serve the gravy with the carved chicken and potatoes.

RECIPES: My Thanksgiving Recipe Favorites, a Round Up!

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Thanksgiving plans are underway, and here is a round up of my favorite dishes to serve. Maybe you can give one of mine a whirl, from crock pot stuffing to pumpkin cupcakes, you'll find some fun ideas to get creative with your menu!


Marinated Citrus Olives

Homemade Caramel Corn

Candied Rosemary Hazelnuts


Carrot, Apple and Ginger Soup

Tortellini in Beef Mushroom Broth

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and Apple Pecan Salad


Creamy Corn and Spinach Casserole

Multigrain Pine Nut No-Knead Bread

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Ginger

Slow Cooker Sausage and Bread Stuffing

Farro, Broccoli and Cannellini Bean Gratin

Pumpkin, Arugula and Sage Pasta

Amazing Feed a Mob Macaroni and Cheese


Delicious Brining Solution for Turkey Roasting

My Turkey Roasting Tips

Pot Roast Like Grandmas

Citrus Buttermilk Pie

You got your "Apples in my Pecan Pie" Pie

Brown Butter Sage Apple Pie in Mascarpone Crust

Apple and Pear Pie with Pecan Custard and Caramel Drizzle

Apple Pie with Almond Crust

Creamiest Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Snap Crust

Bourbon Caramel Apple Crumble Pie

Vanilla Ginger, Quince and Apple Pie

Bay Leaf Infused Fig and Walnut Apple Pie

Lemon, Vanilla Bean and Apple Pie


Grand Marnier and Spice Apple Cake

Cran-Apple Orange Shortbread

Apple Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting and Caramel Drizzle

Gluten Free Apple and Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nut Infused Easy Peasy Vanilla Bundt Cake 

Pumpkin White Chocolate Blondies

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling and Maple Pumpkin Frosting

Gluten Free Almond Polenta Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Gluten Free Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Whole Wheat Pecan Apple Pie Crisp

Citrus Almond Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Marbled Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Power Cookies

Pumpkin Apple Butterscotch Spice Cookies

Honey Rosemary Sweetbread

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