Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken and a Giveaway!

The sauce for this Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken comes together quickly, only requiring 2-4 ingredients! For extra dynamic flavor, add a couple of Smokin-O’s to the grill along with the chicken, then brush the sauce on the chicken the last 10-12 minutes of grilling. Chicken never had it so good.

Spicy Brown Sugar and Mustard Grilled Chicken
Have I got an exciting post for YOU! All. All of you. All ya’ll. Individually and collectively. (By the way, when I lived in Texas I was told that “ya’ll” is singular and “all ya’ll” is plural. I grew up in South Carolina and “ya’ll” was both singular and plural. Just FYI.)

Several weeks ago I was contacted by Shelley at Smokin-O’s to test their product and then possibly blog about it. I love trying products that are new to me, particularly anything that has to do with food or kitchenware. Make-up and fingernail polish do it for some gals, but for me I get all twitterpated over the prospects of a new seasoning salt or potato peeler. Continue Reading

Chicken and Spinach with Cheese-Stuffed Ravioli Casserole

Chicken and Spinach with Cheese-Stuffed Ravioli Casserole

What are your thoughts about casseroles or “hot dishes”, as they are known in some parts of the country? What images does the word casserole conger up in your mind?

For me, I have two thoughts, either ‘yum!’ or ‘bleh!’. Mostly I have a positive outlook on casseroles. I find them warm and comforting, family friendly and welcoming. My favorite casserole from my childhood is Penny Casserole. I revamped it a few years ago and posted both the original and the updated versions here on the blog. You should go and read that post; it’s funny, involving yours truly locking myself out of the house in the middle of the night barefooted in 40-degree weather. Continue Reading

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

Guess what? I’ve been babysitting again!

Tricksy hobbitses.

This one was on a wilding–

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

This one had me in a headlock and thumbscrews while extracting an iron clad agreement that I would buy at least one of everything from his school’s fundraiser brochure–

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

And this one…oh, this one…that face says it all–

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta

There was a definite need for refreshment on the way home. French fries and a hamburger. I was going to have an ice cream cone, but opted for a burger instead. You know, decompression food. High fat, high carb, full-on tension relievers.

Besides, I had et a healthy dinner. Yes, I said et. My grandmother used to say et and since I was informed by the hobbitses that I am OLD, I am saying et.Continue Reading

Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Chicken

Okay, this is a funny story. Well, at least I find it funny, and more than mildly embarrassing.

Perhaps you remember junior high.

Of course you remember junior high!

If you are normal, you were probably scarred for life by it, and I’m not just talking about zits. I’m talking about those long ago uncomfortable memories which seem to pop up at the oddest times.Continue Reading

Roasted Lemon-Thyme Turkey with Lemon Sauce

Lemon-Thyme Turkey

It never ceases to amaze me how the simplest foods can have such profound flavors. Thyme and lemon freshens the taste of turkey, making it the center of attraction on a Spring dinner menu…maybe for a surprise addition to  your Easter menu. Dedicated to ham on Easter? Okay. I understand. I favor ham on Easter, too, mostly because it goes great with Potato Casserole. BUT, if you want something new for dinner (Spring is all about new, right?) then I most humbly offer this recipe for a truly excellent non-Thanksgiving turkey.

The idea for this recipe just popped into my head while I was sitting in Church a couple of weeks ago. I probably ought to have been focusing more on Church than I was on dinner, but I couldn’t help myself. Maybe my brain was in a very relaxed state so that ideas just flowed naturally. I’m sure you know what I mean. Pretty much everyone gets one of those random “eureka” moments when you least expect it.

My eureka moment came complete with pictures in my head and a set of instructions for cooking the turkey. Crazy.

Lemon-Thyme Turkey

All of us that were here for Sunday dinner had the same reaction when we took our first bite of the turkey with the lemon sauce. Actually, it was more of a lemon gravy and it was delicious. Fresh and light and irresistible.

I felt kind of guilty (remember, I am a very guilt-based person) that there could be so much flavor with such minimal effort on my part. Just to make certain that it wasn’t beginner’s luck that made the turkey taste so good, I made another turkey for dinner last night. The second turkey turned out just as great as the first turkey. Everything about it says Spring.

Lemon-Thyme Turkey

Roasted Lemon-Thyme Turkey with Lemon Sauce

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

Ingredients

  • 2 large Onions
  • 1-½ lemons, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, with multiple stems per sprig
  • 1 whole (10 To 12 pound size) Turkey
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • For the Gravy
  • 1 cup chicken stock, or as needed
  • reserved cooking juices from turkey
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in a bit of stock or water

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. If your oven has a convection roast feature, only set it for 325-degrees F.
  2. Peel the onions and halve lengthwise. Slice the halves lengthwise into four or five thick slices. Place the onion slices in the center of the baking pan.
  3. Slice 1 1/2 lemons crosswise into 10-15 slices. Place half of the slices on top of the onions. Dot the onions and lemon slices with two tablespoons of butter.
  4. Rinse the thyme under cool water; pat dry with paper towels. Separate the thyme sprigs into individual stems. Scatter half of the stems over the lemon slices and onions. Set aside the remaining individual thyme stems.
  5. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the turkey. With a sharp pair of kitchen shears, butterfly the turkey by cutting vertically along each side of the back bone to separate it from the turkey. Discard the backbone or save for another use. Open the turkey and rinse inside and out with cool running water.
  6. In the sink or on a flat surface, spread the turkey and place it with the inside facing down. Press firmly on the breast bone until you feel/hear a snap. This will help the turkey to remain in a more flattened position in the baking pan.
  7. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the "cavity" side of the turkey with salt and pepper.
  8. Turn the turkey over, breast side up. Spread turkey and place it cavity side down over the onions, lemon slices, and thyme. Rub the skin with the two remaining tablespoons of softened butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Place the remaining lemon slices randomly on top of the turkey. Scatter the remaining single stems of thyme on top of the turkey and lemon slices.
  10. Bake, uncovered, until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the turkey thigh reaches an internal temperature of 165-degrees F. For the most moist and tender turkey, do not overcook. Remove from oven and allow to sit 10-15 minutes before carving.
  11. Remove turkey from baking pan and set aside on a cutting board. Remove lemon slices and thyme sprigs from the turkey and the pan. Reserve onions, if desired, for serving. Cover to keep warm. RESERVE the cooking juices in the pan to make the lemon gravy!
  12. For the lemon sauce or gravy:
  13. Add enough chicken stock to the reserved juices to make 2 cups. Pour into a 2 quart sauce pot.
  14. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half and add the juice to the reserved turkey juices. If you have another thyme sprig, toss it into the pot as well. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  15. Whisk together some of the chicken stock or water and the corn starch to make a smooth slurry. Add the slurry to the boiling juices, whisking constantly. Allow the gravy to return to a boil. Cook, stirring as needed until the gravy reaches the desired thickness. Thin, if necessary with a little broth or water. Taste. Correct seasonings. Remove thyme sprig before serving.
  16. Slice the turkey as desired. Serve with lemon gravy on the side.
http://tsgcookin.com/2013/03/roasted-lemon-thyme-turkey-with-lemon-sauce/

Lemon-Thyme Turkey Peel the onions, then slice them lengthwise into halves.  Slice each half lengthwise into four or five thick pieces.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Put the onion slices in the bottom of the baking pan. Place some of the lemon slices on top of the onions. Scatter the thyme around over the lemons and onions. Dot randomly with butter pieces.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey If your turkey has a temperature gauge, take it out. You wont’ be needing it. The best way to monitor temperature when baking a turkey is to test the temperature in the thickest, meatiest part of the thigh with a standard meat thermometer.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Yes, it does leave a hole, but that is no big deal. Remember to also remove the neck and giblets from the turkey at this same time. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cool running water.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Place the turkey breast side down on a cutting board.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Remove the backbone with a good pair of kitchen shears. Start cutting at the “tail” end of the turkey and just to the right of the spine. Cut parallel to the spine down the length of the turkey. Repeat on the left side of the spine.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey One side completed. One side to go. Why am I wearing a glove, you ask?  Oh, that. Well, I cut myself with those sharp scissors and it seemed the prudent thing to do to put on a glove to keep my wound clean.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Success! Save the back bone to flavor soup or stock along with the neck and giblets.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Turn the turkey over, breast side up. The thighs and legs are a bit floppy without the support of the spine. This lady is very proper; keeps her knees together. 😉

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey The next step in this process is to flatten out the breast somewhat. It won’t go completely flat, but at this point, the breast is still intact and is keeping the bird too rounded. This process will most likely take two hands, if you are somewhat muscle and leverage challenged like me. So, using two hands, press against the breast until you hear or feel a snap. The cartilage will have separated from the breast bone (sternum). By the way, this is a good time to review your CPR skills, not that the turkey can be revived at this point. You’ll get a good work out and a feel for what it would be like to do chest compressions on a real person instead of one of those mannequins used in CPR classes. It is surprisingly tiring after only 30 compressions!!!!!

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Pat the turkey dry, both on the back and the front. I use paper towels for this so that I can simply throw them away. Every time I see my gloved hand in these pictures, I feel like I am at work. 🙂

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Place the turkey over the onions, lemons, thyme, and butter in the baking pan. Make adjustments as needed to distribute the ingredients equally beneath the turkey. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to keep the majority of the aromatics under the turkey. Notice how the legs have changed position now that the bird is more flattened.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey This is the part where you get to practice your massage skills. Rub all of the turkey skin with butter. This will make the skin so beautiful while it is baking.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey The turkey and aromatics shifted while I was buttering the turkey. If this happens to you, simply push them back under the bird.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Sprinkle salt over the turkey. I forgot to mention that the under side of the turkey ought to have been sprinkled with salt and pepper prior to being placed on top of the aromatics. Oops. If you didn’t get salt and pepper on the under side of the turkey, not to worry. It’s really not critical to the outcome because of all of the other flavors going on.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Don’t forget the pepper.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Place lemon slices and thyme sprigs randomly on top of the turkey. There is so much amazing flavor going on in this baking pan and from only a few simple ingredients!

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey After baking, your turkey is going to look something like this. Gorgeous! Use an internal thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh to make certain that the turkey has reached 165 degrees F. For safety, the temp needs to be 165 degrees F, but you do not want to over-cook the turkey by cooking past the 165 degree mark. The longer the turkey bakes past that mark, the drier the meat becomes. Allow the turkey to rest in the pan for about 10 minutes. This gives the juices time to redistribute.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Remove the turkey from the pan and set aside on a cutting board. There are some incredible flavors in the bottom of this pan. Remove the lemons and thyme and discard. The onions can be served as part of the meal or discarded. I was about to toss them, but my husband insisted that I save them for him. He said that they were delicious!

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Reserve all of the cooking juices. Add enough chicken stock to bring the juices up to two cups, then pour the liquid into a sauce pot. In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch with some additional stock until smooth. Add it to the pot. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half and add it to the liquids in the sauce pot. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until gravy has thickened. Serve as a side for the turkey.

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Lemon-Thyme Turkey Slice the turkey as desired. This picture shows the beautiful, golden skin and the moist, tender white meat. The flavor is light, fresh, and full; perfect for a Springtime meal.

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