Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Practice

Before Thanksgiving I need a little practice to get back into the traditional cooking mode.  Its one of those times where my Tex-Asian fusion cooking just doesn't go over well.  Like the time I made a Chile Crusted Pork Loin instead of a Turkey, I found out just how many Gringos were in the family.  So, for my warm up Thanksgiving Practice Dinner I made a Roasted Chicken, with Cornbread Stuffing, and Mushroom Pan Gravy.  On the practice dinner I get to use Chiles, but not on the Thanksgiving meal.
The butterflied Chicken is seasoned with Tony Chachere's Season Salt, and fresh cracked Black Pepper.  Then its roasted in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.  While its roasting I'll put together the Cornbread Stuffing.  I'll make a small batch of Cornbread, bake it off, and let it cool.  Then crumble the Cornbread so I can mix it with the rest of the ingredients.  The recipe I made equates to about half of the original recipe.  Then I took some Pane Toscana, about 3 thick slices, and cubed them.  Combine with the Cornbread crumbles in a large bowl.  I saute some diced Onion, Celery, Garlic, Jalapeno, and Cayenne, then add them to the crumbles and bread.  Then add salt, pepper, 1 cup of chicken stock, and half a cup of milk, mixing thoroughly.  Dump the mixture into a 9" x 13" Pyrex baking dish, smooth it out, and bake it for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the Chicken is done roasting we scavenge the pan drippings to make the Mushroom Gravy.  The Chicken goes to a plate to rest, and the pan dripping will go into a sauce pan.  I will saute the sliced Mushrooms in the sauce pan first.  Then pull out the Mushrooms to make the gravy.  Add the Chicken Fond to the sauce pan, and then add about a tablespoon of flour to the Chicken Fond.  Whisk the slurry together thoroughly over medium heat.  As it thickens add some Chicken stock and continue whisking.  Keep adding Chicken Stock a little at a time, and whisking, until you reach the target consistency.  Reduce the the heat to low, and add the Mushrooms back into the gravy.  Now its time to assemble the dinner.
To me, this is what a Thanksgiving dinner should be, coordinated, and matching.  Pot Luck Thanksgivings are not what it is supposed to be.  The meal should be planned, work together, and not be a Smorgasbord.  Poultry, Stuffing and Gravy is the prefect mix for Thanksgiving...

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