Low Carb Jabberwockey

The most delicious recipes in all of Wonderland

“Perfect Every Time” Chicken Gravy December 27, 2013

Perfect Gravy.

Gravy used to be such a mystery for me….sometimes it would turn out, sometimes it wouldn’t (yes – LUMPS).  There is one simple trick that I learned – equal parts fat to flour.  That’s IT.  Why did it take me years to figure that out ?

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Our Christmas Dinner was as simple as it gets.  I prepped the veggies and chicken in advance (recipe here: https://locarbjabberwockey.wordpress.com/?s=christmas ) and just put the entire roasting pan in the fridge.  After all, we REALLY needed to see “The Desolation of Smaug” and wouldn’t be getting back home until about 5:30 pm.  The instant I walked in the door, I turned on the oven and popped the chicken/veggies in for about an hour and 15 minutes.

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I removed the veggies and chicken and put the pan directly on the stove (medium heat).  Leave all those burnt bits in there – they help create a super  rich, dark gravy!  There was about 1 tablespoon of chicken fat in the pan, so I added 1 tablespoon of butter.

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Perfect Gravy.

Since I had 2 tablespoons of fat, I added 2 tablespoons of flour, stirred it in, and let it cook for about two minutes.

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Perfect Gravy.

Now it’s just a matter of adding in some chicken broth (today it was from a can).  Moderation is what’s important here… I first poured in half a can and stirred until combined.  It immediately thickened, and I gradually added another can of broth.  But remember !  Don’t pour with too heavy a hand – it’s always easier to add more than to re-thicken it !  Each time you add more liquid, allow it to cook for a minute or two to see if it will thicken any more.

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Once the gravy is thickened, give it a taste.  I did not need to add ANY seasonings.  There was enough residual salt from the canned broth,butter and drippings and it was PERFECT.

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“Perfect Every Time” Chicken Gravy

1 Tbsp Chicen drippings
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Flour
22 ounces (one and a half cans) chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

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Melt butter with chicken drippings over medium heat.  Add flour, and stir for about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the broth until gravy thickens.  You may need less (or more!) broth depending on how thick you like the gravy.

Season to taste.

Perfect Gravy.

Perfect Gravy

 

Buffalo: It’s What’s For Dinner (Pepperjack Pesto Burgers) December 23, 2013

Buffalo Burgers.

The hubs is an avid gardener and routinely gives garden treats to our neighbors… After a recent butternut squash giveaway, he came back home with some ground buffalo.  I wasn’t sure what buffalo tastes like, and was considering a lasagna (I was concerned that it might be “gamey”).  After consulting with my 13 year old Sous Chef, we opted for burgers instead.

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We decided to go “gourmet” on these burgers, and had to make do with ingredients on hand.  We topped each burger (right after flipping) with a thick piece of pepperjack cheese, and a small dollop of home-made pesto( https://locarbjabberwockey.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/easy-homemade-pesto/ ).  We also sauteed half an onion and some mushrooms, for an additional yummy topper.

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The fam’s burgers were served on English muffins, with mayo, homemade pickles, grape tomatoes, and lettuce.  For me the low carb version was served on a bed of lettuce to replace the bun.  Two thumbs up for buffalo meat !

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Buffalo Burgers

Buffalo Burgers

 

The Jabberwock is back with an EASY Roasted Turkey recipe. December 21, 2013

Easy Roasted Turkey.

So, I am back from my blogging break !  I was off taking a College Algebra class at Portland Community College.  GREAT CLASS.  It was actually fun, but I found the whole work, life, school thing to be terrifically challenging.  Work is 40-50 hours a week (usually closer to 50).  Life is everything after work, and school was pretty tough to keep up with.  I dedicated just one Sunday a week to studying at Battle Ground Starbucks — my good buds Colleen and Taylor can attest to that !

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SO !  How does one fit a holiday meal into such a tough schedule ?

  • I realized 2 days before Thanksgiving that I forgot to buy a turkey.  Sent the hubs off to Winco to see if they had any defrosted ones.  Thankfully they did !  Alternate game plan was to have him purchase Cornish game hens since they can be de-thawed in the sink.
  • I generally have a decent amount of “good stuff” on hand, such as herbs and veggies since the hubs is an avid gardener.

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Getting down to business…  the turkey was about 12 pounds.  I took it out of the package and took all the “giblets” (aka GUTS) and saved along with all my veggie scraps for future turkey stock and gave the bird a little rinse.  You can take all your onion skins, apple peels, carrot peels, broccoli scraps, celery tops, WHATEVER and freeze until you have enough to make some rich delicious broth (https://locarbjabberwockey.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/homemade-chicken-stock/)

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I plopped the turkey into a roasting pan breast side up, and stuffed some fresh sage and thyme into the cavity.  We also had a ton of garlic so took an entire bulb, sliced in half, and stuffed in the cavity along with half a red bell pepper which was leftover in the fridge.  If I had any apples, oranges, or lemons on hand I would have put some in there as well to add moisture.

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Drizzle the breast side with a decent amount of olive oil, and heavily salt/pepper it.  ( I use Kosher salt and cracked black pepper).  No need to tie legs with string or any of that nonsense, but do tuck the wing ends underneath of the bird if you are able.

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Turkey went into the oven for the recommended time and temp off the package.  After about an hour and a half I checked it, and the breast skin was perfectly browned so just lightly covered with aluminum foil, and completed the cooking.

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And, for the MOST important step !  Always let the bird sit for 20-30 minutes after cooking.  It will retain the heat, and lock in the juices.  This is just enough time to get the gravy done, and layout the feast on the table or sideboard.  For the presentation, remove the herbs etc. from the cavity,  set the turkey on one of your favorite platters, garnish with leftover herbs, and arrange some pre-made stuffing (https://locarbjabberwockey.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/jabberwocks-quick-and-dirty-stuffing/) around the cavity to make it appear that you stuffed it.  (Don’t ever stuff a bird it’s a total pain in the XXX).

Easy Roasted Turkey.

EASY Roasted Turkey

 

Jabberwock’s Quick and Dirty Stuffing

Stuffing.

I like the holiday meal to be EASY.  In recent years I have been skipping the mashed potatoes and doing stuffing instead.  As a working parent I need to maximize time with my family and not squander it in the kitchen prepping elaborate meals….don’t get me wrong, I still want the meal to *taste* like I spent a ton of time making it!

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I admit to taking my help from a box on this one…namely Stove Top.  But, with a few added sauteed veggies and some chicken broth, you can amp up the flavor, and get that boxed stuff to taste like it was homemade.

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Jabberwock’s Quick and Dirty Stuffing
1 onion, diced
2 lage stalks celery, diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 package mushrooms (about 10 ounces), diced
2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Canned chicken broth (about 3 cups)
2 packages stuffing mix

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Sautee onion, celery, red pepper, garlic, mushrooms in the olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Go lightly with the salt since we will be using canned broth and butter later on !

While veggies are cooking, take a look at the stuffing directions. Mine called for 3 cups of water and 1/2 cup (egads) of butter for a double recipe — instead, I used canned chicken broth in place of the water, and only 1/4 cup of butter. I brought this up to a boil, and prepared the stuffing per the package directions.

Combine the stuffing and sauteed veggies in a 9×13 inch pan, and cook at 375 F for about 15 minutes to create a nice crunchy top.

I never stuff a bird, since it increases the cooking time, so I prep the stuffing this way, and when plating up the bird on a platter, I just arrange the stuffing around the cavity.

Enjoy !

Easy Roasted Turkey

 

 
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