Tag Archives: Turkey

Obama Family Chili

Obama Family Chili

Like so many of us, I got up early on Tuesday to vote (but was not given a sticker!!!), then awaited election returns with a sense of calm, feeling like I knew what to expect – our first woman president. I called it quits around 11 pm with a feeling of acute anxiety, not liking where this was going, and then woke up completely heartbroken the next morning. This is the closest I have ever come to crying over a presidential election. My heart is heavy with fear, embarrassment, and mostly sadness. I feel sick every time I read another story of someone’s young daughter bursting into tears upon finding out that a bully won instead of the first woman to ever run for the office, or worrying about what will happen to their Muslim or Mexican friends at school.

Obama Family Chili

I’d planned on sharing this recipe yesterday, thinking it would be a celebration of a major glass ceiling being shattered – whatever my admittedly not always positive opinions of Hillary Clinton were, I was incredibly excited at the thought of our first female president – but instead I’m sharing it in a spirit of mourning, really.

Apparently the only thing President Obama really cooks is this pot of chili, which he’s been making since college, according to food historian Robb Walsh. He (Walsh) published it in his latest cookbook, and I thought if there was ever an appropriate time to make it myself, well, here we are.

I will miss President Obama and his family terribly. Whatever one may think of his politics, no one can deny he’s a man of class, grace, dignity, and integrity. He is loved and respected the world over. He genuinely appears to be extremely devoted to his family, with eight years going by without one whiff of sex scandal. Class, grace, and a thick-skinned, measured temperament in the White House will be abruptly ending come January 20th. It hurts.

Obama Family Chili

This chili, as well as being a tribute to someone I greatly admire and will sorely miss, is also just plain delicious and easy to pull off. It’s quite “Midwest” in style, a lovely meaty carb-fest since you’re instructed to serve it over rice and with cornbread on the side, and not nearly as spicy as most Texas bowls-o-red tend to be. Whatever your personal politics, I’d highly recommend giving this a go next time you need a simple, hearty bowl of chili in your life. Enjoy!

Obama Family Chili

Source: slightly adapted from The Chili Cookbook by Robb Walsh

1 tbs olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a large poblano, a bell pepper would be fine too)
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ – 1 tsp ground cumin, to taste
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp dried basil
1 heaping tbs chili powder
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices; tomatoes should be chopped or broken up with a potato masher or snipped into chunks with kitchen shears
Water, as needed
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
White or brown rice, for serving
Cornbread, for serving
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheddar, and diced raw white onion are the President’s preferences, but you can adapt as you like, obviously

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the ground turkey. Crumble and cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook until softened. Now add the cumin, oregano, turmeric, basil, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the vinegar and tomatoes, including juices. Stir together until combined, then fill up most of the now-empty tomato can with water. Add it about a half cup at a time, just to give the chili somewhere to go while you simmer it for at least 1 hour. You want the tomatoes to cook down and the flavors to marry. Add more water, a little at a time, if it’s getting too thick. You want the final product to be nicely thickened, but with a little bit of liquid. Add the kidney beans and cook a few more minutes. Once it’s ready, taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Serve over steamed white or brown rice and garnish as instructed or as desired. Enjoy!

Turducken Lasagna

Turducken Lasagna

Every year, I love roasting a turkey for the blog sometime in early November. And this year was no exception. Unfortunately, this year, the turkey did not love me back! First of all, I tried a newfangled type of stuffing-something-flavorful-under-the-skin technique featuring sausage and polenta. Don’t do this. The polenta is not firm enough to stay there.

Turducken Lasagna

Secondly, spatchcocking turkey, also known as butterflying, seems to be all the rage this year, so I thought I’d give it a go. Just, no. If you go this direction, please have your butcher do it. I nearly ruined my kitchen shears and no matter what I did I couldn’t properly break the breast bone. A completely useless waste of time.

Turducken Lasagna

So the bad news is that I have no turkey to share with you this year. The good news is that I’m offering you a main dish alternative for your Thanksgiving Day dinner for those of you who have tired of roasting birds and want a new spin on things.

Turducken Lasagna

This is a play on that freakish concoction otherwise known as Turducken, a scary monstrosity created by wrapping a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. Honestly, it’s never appealed to me in the least. I just can’t. But lasagna – lasagna I can! This is one of the better-tasting and more special lasagnas I’ve made. It begins with equal parts of ground turkey, ground duck, and ground chicken that makes a flavorful, interesting and pleasantly gamey meat sauce that becomes part of a pretty traditional Italian style lasagna. We were so in love. Seriously, no one would miss a turkey if you served this on Thanksgiving.

Turducken Lasagna

A few recipe notes: it doesn’t matter what cut of duck you grind. Just grind the fat and skin along with the meat (or have your butcher do it). Use all dark turkey and chicken meat, or at least a combination of dark and white. All-white meat grinds will be too dry. I hope you enjoy it!

Source: slightly adapted from Harold Dieterle’s Kitchen Notebook by Harold Dieterle

2 tbs olive oil
8 oz. ground turkey
8 oz. ground duck (any parts)
8 oz. ground chicken
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large Spanish onion, minced
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs fennel seeds
1 tbs crushed red pepper flakes
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
28 oz. can tomato puree
15 oz. can tomato puree
Leaves from 1 bunch of basil, loosely torn
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 lb. provolone cheese, grated
1 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. no-boil lasagna noodles
3 lbs. ricotta cheese

First, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large, high-sided skillet or saucepan over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the ground turkey, duck, and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until the meat is lightly browned and no traces of pink remain, about 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.
Add the onion, garlic, fennel, and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and stir in all the crushed tomatoes and all the tomato puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then continue to simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil.
Now assemble the lasagna: preheat your oven to 350 F. Place the mozzarella, provolone, and pecorino in a bowl and fold them together. Ladle one-quarter of the sauce into the bottom of a very large lasagna pan, spreading it to all the corners.
Top with a layer of noodles, breaking to fit if necessary. Spread about one-quarter of the ricotta over the noodles, then about one-quarter of the mozzarella cheese mixture. Repeat, starting with the sauce, three more times, and finishing with the mozzarella mixture. Grind black pepper over the top of the lasagna. Cover with aluminum foil, then bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and you can pierce the center of the lasagna easily with a paring knife, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven to bake until the cheese starts to brown, about 5 more minutes. Remove the lasagna from the oven and set aside to rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup with Turkey Carcass Stock

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Today, I think we should discuss Thanksgiving turkey carcasses. Exciting and appetizing right? Mmmm…. No, really we should.

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Many moons ago I graduated from the wonderful Baylor University (sec ‘em Bears!), which is located in Waco, Texas, a small town that descriptively sits somewhere in between completely rural and decent-sized town. One year, I was driving down the street from my residence a couple days after Turkey Day and I had to stop my car because right smack in the middle of the street an enormous vulture was chowing down on a turkey carcass he’d dragged out of someone’s garbage bag.

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I figured he would move when he saw my car, but no. He just gave me this “yeah, what are you lookin’ at?” look and went back to feasting on that carcass. I actually had to drive around him, which also didn’t faze him one bit.

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So this year, I say we all encourage the vultures to stay out of the residential neighborhoods by using our turkey carcass to make one of the most delicious noodle soups I’ve ever tasted! Yeah, save your carcass after you’ve carved your turkey. It then goes into the largest pot you have (or hack it up into large pieces and divide among two pots – I had to and it works just fine); fill the pot with aromatics and water and let it simmer away. In a few hours you will have the richest, most beautiful turkey stock with which to make your soup, your house will have the warmest and most fragrant aroma, and your neighbor may even be texting you to find out what is making the whole building smell so good.

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Then you use some shredded leftover turkey meat to make a delicious, comforting noodle soup that can feed your whole family. It is sooooo good. I hope y’all will enjoy it!

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{One Year Ago: Pumpkin and Fried Sage Pizza}
{Two Years Ago: Barbecue Beef Chili}

Source: slightly adapted from Down South by Donald Link


1 turkey carcass from 1 roasted turkey (use a meat cleaver to hack up the carcass into pieces if necessary)
1 onion, peeled and chunked
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1 carrot, rough chopped (no need to peel it)
4 garlic cloves, smashed (no need to peel)
4 fresh bay leaves
1 tbs black peppercorns

1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 fresh bay leaves
2 tbs Dijon or whole-grain mustard
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs dried oregano
½ tsp poultry seasoning
Kosher salt and black pepper
Up to 3 cups of store-bought chicken or turkey stock (maybe)
2 cups shredded turkey meat, light and/or dark, leftover from the roasted turkey
8 oz. wide egg noodles
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

To make the STOCK: in the largest pot you have, combine the turkey carcass bones with the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and 6 quarts of water. If you need to, you can split this evenly between 2 stockpots (I had to).
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, and simmer, skimming the fat off the top as needed, for 3 hours. Strain the stock. If not using immediately, store in the refrigerator for a few days.
Now make the SOUP: heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, like a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mustard, vinegar, oregano, poultry seasoning, 1 tbs kosher salt and 2 tsp black pepper.
Measure 2 quarts plus 2 cups of the turkey stock you just made. If you have less than that, no big deal, just supplement with the store-bought stock. Add the stock to the soup pot, then add the turkey meat.
Simmer, skimming the fat as it rises to the surface periodically, until the meat is very tender, about 30-45 minutes.
When the soup is nearly ready, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously, then add the noodles. Cook until just al dente, then drain them and transfer to the soup pot. Simmer them for about 15 minutes to allow them to absorb some soup broth.
Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper as needed. Serve the soup in either large, deep bowls or wide, shallow bowls garnished with parsley, if desired.

Cider-Glazed Turkey with Lager Gravy

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Happy Sunday!! I’m so excited for today’s post! As my regulars know, I’ve been (mostly) focusing the month of November on getting everyone ready for Thanksgiving with plenty of ideas for your big Turkey Day. Thus far, I’ve blogged some starters and sides; don’t worry, desserts are coming your way soon.

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But for today, I’m so thrilled to be bringing you a whole roast turkey, complete with luscious, rich gravy! After some drama (I was previously unaware of how difficult it is to locate a whole turkey in October, but word of advice – it is! Wait until November.), I ended up roasting this huge bird alongside this wonderful side dish for a lovely, beautiful Wednesday evening dinner. (See, this is how you keep hump day from being mundane, haha!)

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Lager Gravy for Thanksgiving Turkey 5712

So, let’s talk turkey, shall we? This particular bird is probably going in my Best Turkey I’ve Ever Tasted, Period file. I think it was the cheesecloth. The melted-butter-and-apple-cider-soaked cheesecloth that draped over the entire breast and legs of the turkey. With a few sage leaves thrown in for good measure. It seriously kept the bird SO moist. No hint whatsoever of the dreaded dry breast meat.

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Then there was the gravy. I have to confess, I’ve never really taken my time with Thanksgiving turkey gravy. Some pan drippings, flour, turkey or chicken stock, maybe a splash of cream and some herbs, and that’s pretty much it. But this gravy…. For this one, I took my time and gave it lots of special attention. I used the neck and the giblets, and let this thing simmer almost the entire time the turkey was roasting.

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Cider-glazed turkey with Lager gravy 5778

And, the rewards were great. This is one of the most flavorful gravies you will taste. Beautifully smooth and lush and silky. And now, this will sound like a strong statement, but: if you serve this turkey to your guests, they will still be talking about it when you see them again for Christmas. In fact, you might not want to host Christmas dinner, because I’m honestly not sure what you could make that could live up to the reputation you’re going to achieve when you serve this amazing turkey at Thanksgiving. Matt declared it the best turkey he’s ever tasted, and I’m betting at least one person in your family will as well. I hope you all will enjoy this one as much as we did.

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{One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze, Chocolate Meringue Pie}

Source: slightly adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, November 2011; recipe submitted by Michael Symon


1 (12-14 lb.) whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved
2 tbs kosher salt
1 unpeeled head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 jalapeno, halved
1 Granny Smith apple, quartered
12 sage leaves
1/3 cup cloudy organic apple cider
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter

2 tbs olive oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cloudy, organic apple cider
1 (12 oz.) bottle of lager
1 fresh bay leaf

For the TURKEY: season the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Set on a large plate and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Uncover the turkey and let it return to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. Stuff the cavity with the garlic, jalapeno, apple and 6 of the sage leaves. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. If the wings are flopping about, tie a large circle around the top of the turkey breast so they lay flat and tight against the breast.
Transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
In a small saucepan, combine the cider with the butter and the remaining 6 sage leaves and cook over low heat until the butter has melted and the sage is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Dampen a 32-by-20-inch piece of cheesecloth* with water and squeeze dry. Immerse the cheesecloth in the apple cider-butter mixture until the liquid is absorbed. Drape the soaked cheesecloth over the turkey breast and legs.
*Please don’t get out your ruler for this step. Just make sure you have enough cheesecloth to cover the turkey breast and legs. It’s fine to use 2 sheets.
Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups of water to the roasting pan and continue to roast for about 2 hours longer, rotating the pan a few times, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh reads 165 F. It may take more or less time than stated.
Meanwhile, make the GRAVY: in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the turkey neck and giblets, except for the liver, and season with salt and pepper. Reserve the liver. Cook over moderate heat, turning a few times, until nicely browned, about 12 minutes. Remove the turkey parts to a plate and reserve.
Off the heat, stir the flour into the fat in the saucepan to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the cider until smooth, then whisk in the lager. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking continuously until thickened. Return the browned turkey parts to the saucepan and add the bay leaf. Cover and cook over low heat, whisking occasionally, until the gravy is flavorful, about 1 ½ hours. Discard the turkey parts and the bay leaf.
When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and carefully peel away the cheesecloth and discard. Transfer the turkey to a rimmed cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a glass measuring cup and skim off the fat. Add the pan juices to the gravy and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season the reserved liver with salt and pepper, add to the gravy and simmer until pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Remove the liver and cut into small chunks.
In a blender, puree the liver with about 1 cup of the gravy. Whisk the liver puree into the gravy and season with salt and pepper to taste. Rewarm the gravy if necessary. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Buffalo Turkey Burgers

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It’s official – football season is here!!! We’ve been at it for two weeks now, both college and the pros, and it’s a mixed bag for me personally. Oh Cowboys, how you kill me sometimes….

But, even if I can’t get on board with – how many interceptions did Romo throw Sunday before last? Ugh. But I’m happy they won last week! Will they keep it up? – I can *always* get on board with game day and tailgating food. Always. And that includes buffalo anything.

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Buffalo chicken wings are fantastic, of course, but I’m not always in the mood for that giant production. Sometimes I crave the flavors while wanting something simpler, and sometimes it’s only two people watching the game (and their waistlines!) so you need a more … contained meal, one with fewer calories that provides fewer opportunities for eating all night long.

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Enter these delicious burgers! All that beautiful, hotter-than-hell buffalo wing flavor with significantly less messiness. But, there is some messiness, I should warn you. I personally believe that if you don’t need about five napkins, then the burger just wasn’t worth eating.

These are awesome, perfect for a busy weeknight game that can only be partly watched over dinner, or for any time you’re just craving buffalo wing flavors in a healthful turkey burger. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Ricotta Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chili Cheese Fries, Salumi Burgers, Blackberry Orange Sangria Ice Pops}
{Two Years Ago: Baba Ghanoush}

Source: adapted from The Book of Burger by Rachael Ray

1 ½ lbs. ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
Olive oil
6 tbs buffalo sauce
Leafy lettuce
Blue cheese sauce/dressing
4 hamburger buns, preferably Brioche, split and toasted

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, garlic, scallions, celery, salt and black pepper, plus a quick drizzle of olive oil. Using your clean hands, mix gently but thoroughly. Score the meat into 4 equal portions and form each into a burger patty. Use your index finger or thumb to make an indentation in the center of each patty (this prevents “burger bulge” as they cook).
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil. When the skillet is hot, add the burgers and cook, flipping once, 10 to 12 minutes total, or until the juices run clear. Remove to a plate. Shut off the heat and wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Place the skillet back over low heat. Add the buffalo sauce to the pan and swirl it to coat. Place the burgers back in the pan and flip once to coat them well in the buffalo sauce.
Now assemble the burgers. Place a buffalo-sauced burger on the bottom bun, then top with lettuce and blue cheese sauce. Now add the top bun and serve immediately.

Southwestern Turkey Sliders #SundaySupper

Southwestern Turkey Sliders 003

Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week is Tantalizing Trays, which made me think of game day food, probably because that’s where my brain is anyway seeing as COLLEGE FOOTBALL started this weekend!!! I cannot wait to see my Baylor Bears beat up on SMU tonight!!

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When thinking about what to make this week, I also realized I’ve been somewhat neglecting sliders on this website, so I figured this was as good an excuse as any to remedy that. And thus, enter these delicious, adorable Tex-Mex-inspired turkey sliders – flavorful, moist, and adaptable to your tastes and preferences. Perfect for game day, or any other party that calls for trays of delectable little bites. Enjoy!

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And do not forget to see what my Sunday Supper gang has brought for you!

{One Year Ago: Kansas City Barbecued Spare Ribs}
{Two Years Ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, Grilled Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce, Strawberry Scones with an Almond Glaze}

Source: adapted from Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse

Canola oil, for the grill grates
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1 small red onion, peeled and grated
2 scallions, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded if desired, minced or grated
1 ½ tbs All-Purpose Mexican/Tex-Mex Spice Mix, or your favorite Mexican seasoning blend
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
12 mini hamburger buns or slider rolls, split and toasted if desired
Garnishes of your choice: lettuce, tomato, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, ketchup, sour cream, chipotle mayonnaise, mustard

Preheat a grill to medium-high. Rub some canola oil on a folded paper towel and rub it all over the grill grates when ready to grill.
In a large bowl, add the turkey, onion, scallions, jalapeno, spice rub, Worcestershire, olive oil, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Using your clean hands, mix everything together gently but thoroughly. Be wary of overmixing, this will make your sliders tough.
Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, and using your wet hands, shape them into 12 small burgers, each about 3 ½ inches wide. Use your forefinger to make a slight impression in the center of each slider, to prevent “burger bulge” when they cook.
Place the burgers on the grill and cook until the turkey is just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a slider reads 165 F. Total cooking time is 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill. You may need to cook these in batches – don’t crowd the grill or you will steam the sliders. Nasty.
Remove the sliders to a plate when done. And now it’s time to assemble! I placed a bit of lettuce on a bottom bun, then a slice of tomato, then a slider patty. I liberally spread chipotle mayonnaise on the top burger buns, then topped them in place. Stick a toothpick in the center of each and dig in!

Savory Bites:

Sweet Treats:

Dr Pepper Turkey Chili #SundaySupper

Dr Pepper Turkey Chili

Welcome to Sunday Supper!! Today is a special edition because it’s Super Bowl Sunday, and we are bringing you game day treats for the occasion.

Now personally, the Super Bowl would be a lot more super if the Cowboys were playing in it, and if it were not being held at the Giants/Jets stadium, but hey, what can you do? I am looking quite forward to the commercials!

Dr Pepper Turkey Chili

I love serving chili at Super Bowl parties, so that’s what I’m bringing to the virtual party today. This chili is quite unique, not properly Texan because it does have beans, but that’s okay; it’s not really spicy and has a sweet background note thanks to the soda. It is *most* excellent with some Frito scoops served alongside. And I would definitely categorize this one as kid friendly.

And now I shall raise my beer (or Dr Pepper!) to you and send you good vibes for a fun and safe Super Bowl party, funny commercials, a halftime show that doesn’t suck, and if your team is playing today, then may your team win!

Dr Pepper turkey chili

Enjoy this lovely chili, and be sure to check out the rest of the tasty game day grub from my fabulous Sunday Supper cohorts!

{One year ago: Happy Accident Mashed Potatoes}

Source: adapted from Oh Sweet Basil

2 tbs olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs chili powder
2 generous tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 (12 oz.) can of Dr Pepper
1/2 bottle beer
2 tbs tomato paste
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 oz.) can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce, such as Cholula
Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and Frito scoops, for serving

In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the turkey and crumble and cook until no traces of pink remain. Add the onion, pepper, and jalapeno. Saute until softened and cooked, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano, cocoa, allspice, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the soda, beer and tomato paste. Cook, stirring to combine, for about 1 minute.
Now add the beans, tomatoes, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Stir to combine and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours. The longer the better. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Serve with the garnishes of your choice.

Make sure you check out all the Game Day deliciousness we are sharing this Sunday!

Make sure you check out all the Game Day deliciousness we are sharing this Sunday!

Game Day Appetizers:

Game Day Entrees:

Game Day Desserts:


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter every Sunday!
We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.
Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag
and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Check out
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Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Truffle Butter Roast Turkey

Truffle Butter Roast Turkey

A couple weeks ago, I was perusing my Recipe Index, planning out the Thanksgiving-y dishes I’d make and share for this year, hoping to give my readers an idea or two of what to serve for your Thanksgiving spreads, and it occurred to me there is no Thanksgiving turkey anywhere here. And now I shall correct that.

Thanksgiving turkey, ready for the oven

I spent the day on Monday prepping and roasting this bird, which brought back memories of the first Thanksgiving Matt and I were married. I was in law school, and law students don’t really get a Thanksgiving break per se, seeing as finals are imminent. So we stayed home, but we still wanted a Thanksgiving dinner. I was not much of a cook then, so I naively figured, oh how hard can it be to whip up a Thanksgiving dinner for two? Just a few dishes, some turkey, and a pumpkin pie.

truffle butter rubbed turkey, before roasting

Well, a small Thanksgiving spread can be very easy and doable, but roasting a whole turkey when you don’t know what you’re doing can raise the difficulty level, oh I don’t know, just a tad. I found a recipe online, and it assumed I was a much more advanced cook than I was, so the directions weren’t idiot-proof. The recipe said to roast the bird at a low temperature, I think around 300 F. But I remembered that I’d always seen my mom covering turkeys in foil, so I did too. I checked the internal temperature after about two hours and it was nowhere near done. So we let it go some more; the internal temperature was slogging upwards at a snail’s pace, and we were getting hungry.

truffle butter roast turkey

A couple phone calls to my mom later, I learned that covering the bird in foil is only required if you’re cooking at a higher temperature, and cooking at around 300 F did not require this step. Oops. All told, the bird took seven hours to cook. Yep, seven friggin hours, and no, it was not a huge turkey. But may I just say, it was then and still remains the most delicious roast turkey I have ever tasted. It was unbelievably moist and tender.

truffle butter roast turkey leg and wing

And though it was so superlative, it was the hugest pain in the katoosh, so I have exactly zero plans to replicate it. In the meantime, this lovely bird will more than suffice. It was plenty tasty, I guarantee you no one will complain, and since you’re using truffle butter, your guests will think you went all out for them. In reality, truffle butter really isn’t that expensive if you only use it a few times a year. I picked up 4 ounces for $7. Cook time only took 3 hours, and we absolutely loved it. And unlike the one I tried all those years ago, this one really is idiot-proof. I highly recommend! Oh, and don’t forget to make gravy like I did. It’s moist enough that gravy isn’t technically needed, but isn’t it always wanted? That is precisely why I don’t have any photos of a composed plate of food….

Truffle Butter Roast Turkey, breast carved and sliced

roast turkey leg and wing

{One year ago: Stuffing Bruschetta}

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten

1 (12 to 14) lb. whole turkey, thawed completely if frozen, neck and giblets removed
3-4 oz. white truffle butter, at room temperature
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 large yellow onion, cut into eighths and peeled
1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
Large bunch of fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Drain any juices from the turkey cavity and place the turkey skin-side down on a rack in a roasting pan. If you do not have a roasting pan, simply wrap a baking sheet in foil, then stick a cooling rack inside it. Place the turkey on the cooling rack and proceed.
Pat the entire turkey dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the underside of the turkey with salt and pepper, then flip it over so it’s sitting skin side up.
Remove your rings, and with clean hands, gently run your fingers between the skin and the meat to loosen the skin, starting at the cavity end. Take care not to tear the skin. Depending on how long your fingers are, you’ll likely get only halfway up the breast. It’s fine; much more important to not tear the skin than to loosen the whole thing.
Place about half of the softened truffle butter under the skin and gently massage it to spread the butter under as much of the skin as possible. Take the rest of the butter and spread it on the legs, wings, and the upper part of the breast that didn’t get any butter under its skin.
Season the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Place the onion, garlic, and about half the thyme sprigs in the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen string, and tie one length of string around the bird and the wings to keep the wings close to the body during roasting.
Sprinkle the rest of the outside of the bird with salt and pepper. Remove 1 tablespoon of leaves from the remaining thyme sprigs and chop them. Sprinkle them evenly over the turkey.
Slide the turkey into the oven and roast for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until the internal temperature of the center-most part of the breast reads 165 F. Halfway through cooking, or whenever the skin has turned golden and crispy, loosely cover the bird with foil. If it appears your bird is cooking too slowly or too quickly, you probably have the meat thermometer inserted incorrectly. Jab it a few other places and get a read on where the bird really is. Mine took exactly 3 hours.
When the turkey is cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it rest, covered tightly with new foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve with the pan juices.

Better Than Taco Bell Mexican Pizza


Yesterday my mom emailed me a link to a recipe, as she occasionally does when she finds one that looks great. Usually, it’s not a recipe that I’ve ever seen. It’s never been a recipe that I’ve actually made one week prior. Until yesterday, that is.


My mom sent me this link, and I immediately thought, “That looks extremely familiar!” Turns out, I was correct. And just to be clear, no, my mom didn’t know that I’d just made this. So I wrote her back saying, “yeah, I know, it’s really good!”


As you probably guessed from the post’s title, this is a homemade version of Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza. My parents were big sticklers on nutritious eating, so they didn’t allow too much fast food. But, it’s not like we were hermits or anything, so exceptions were occasionally made. And more often than not, those exceptions came in the form of Taco Bell. Even though we all knew it’s not real Mexican food, I must say, my whole family was fans.


Taco Bell continued to be part of my diet until my late twenties (which is about when I discovered Chipotle. Coincidence??). Matt and I ate there for years, and The Border even made an appearance the night we got engaged.


The past few years, I have really become more conscious about what I eat, specifically about where my food comes from and how it was treated before being put on my plate. Thus, I’ve cut out most fast food. I seem to have replaced Taco Bell with Chipotle. But I cannot deny that Taco Bell played a prominent role in my childhood and young adulthood, nor do I really want to deny it.


So I really enjoyed this recipe. And no false advertising here, it does taste like a Taco Bell Mexican pizza, but it’s much, much better! It tastes better, and you know what’s going on your plate because you have control over the ingredients. And trust me when I make the comparison – I’ve done the leg work.


Recipe notes: this is very messy to eat. I made that worse by initially trying to cut the pizzas with a pizza wheel. It’s much better to use a very large chef’s knife.

Source: adapted from 30A Eats

Canola or olive oil
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pale beer, preferably Mexican
1/2 cup favorite salsa
4 corn tortillas
Canola oil, for frying
1 15-oz refried beans (or 1 1/2 cups homemade refried beans)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of cheddar and Monterey jack)
2 green onions, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup sliced black olives

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet.
Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of canola or olive oil, then the ground turkey. Crumble it with a potato masher until it’s cooked through and no traces of pink remain. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat the turkey mixture.
Deglaze with the beer, making sure you scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the beer has mostly evaporated. Now stir in the salsa and simmer at medium-low heat until it’s relatively thick, about 5 or so minutes. Keep warm while you prepare the tortillas.
In a medium skillet, heat the canola oil. To test for readiness, pinch off a tiny piece of tortilla and drop it in the oil. If it sinks, the oil is too cold. If it browns immediately, the oil is too hot. What you want is for the tortilla piece to rise to the top and immediately start bubbling but not browning.
When the oil is ready, fry each tortilla until crisped, about 1 minute per side. Carefully remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil.
Let the tortillas cool just until you can stand to handle them. Spread each with refried beans. Top 2 of the tortillas with equal amounts of the turkey mixture. Top with the other tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top of each pizza.
Bake for 6 minutes, until the cheese is completely melted. Remove from the oven, let rest for a few minutes, then garnish with the scallions, tomatoes and black olives. Cut each into quarters and serve.
Serve 2 people.

BLT Turkey Club Burgers


I absolutely adore burgers. Before I was more health-conscious, a cheeseburger was my usual go-to at restaurants, especially if I didn’t know the place or its reputation very well. I love making burgers at home too, and I love how creative you can be with burgers. It seems like there is literally no end to the types of seasonings, toppings, condiments, cheeses and even breads you can use to build your dream burger. Any ethnic cuisine is up for grabs, and you can riff a burger on any number of classic dishes out there. Not that there’s anything wrong with a traditional cheeseburger with the usual condiments – when that one is done right, it can rival a religious experience. So yeah, burgers are one of my faves.



And I realized that I’ve had this blog for about seven months, and there has been not one burger recipe posted. For shame! Blasphemy! That all changes today, for today I shall blog this delicious burger.


This one is a mash-up of a burger, a club sandwich, and a BLT sandwich. I used ground turkey, but ground chicken would work just fine too. We begin this gloriousness with white sandwich bread (get a good-quality Pullman loaf if you can), and then spread spicy mayonnaise on it, then crisp lettuce, crunchy bacon, a flavorful, moist turkey burger and a juicy tomato slice are piled up together. And when you take each bite, you remember exactly why you love burgers, and club sandwiches, and BLT sandwiches. Because they’re all awesome, that’s why! And you get a little of each in every single bite. Winning!


Source: adapted from Burger Bar by Hubert Keller

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbs Dijon mustard
1-2 dashes hot sauce, such as Texas Pete’s
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey, not extra-lean
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 strips of bacon
8 slices good-quality white sandwich bread, toasted if desired
2 large handfuls salad mix
2 large tomatoes, sliced

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and hot sauce. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, garlic, cumin, plus salt and pepper to taste. Use your hands to mix together, but be careful not to overmix. Form the mixture into 4 even patties. Make a thumbprint in the center of each patty, place on a plate and refrigerate until needed.
In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon until crisped up and crunchy. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet. Preheat to medium-high heat. When it is smoking, add the patties. Cook the patties about 4 minutes per side, flipping only once, or until cooked through. With a large spoon, baste the burgers several times with the bacon fat. When cooked remove the burgers to a plate.
Assemble the burgers. Spread 2 slices of bread with a generous amount of the mayonnaise. To one slice, add the lettuce, tomato, burger patty, then 2 slices of bacon. Add the top slice of bread. Cut in half on the diagonal, if desired, and serve immediately.