Cajun Turkey Wings and Chicken Thighs

Turkey Wings 056About 10 years ago I got serious about baking the perfect Turkey. It took years of practice, because my mom usually cooked the Turkey for Thanksgiving. I purchased a large roasting pan and turkey kit with twine, injection needle, thermometer, etc.

Before I moved out on my own, I did not know how to bake a turkey. Turkey is an expensive meat, and I was too cheap to mess it up.

I had to start from the cooking basics. First learning how to fry and bake a cut up chicken. Then moving up to baking a whole chicken, a whole hen and finally, a whole duck.Turkey Wings 059

People loved my duck on Thanksgiving. So it was time to move up to baking a whole turkey.

But I had some secret weapons:

  • Bacon,
  • Butter,
  • Bag.
  • Smear the butter under the skin, and then stuff it with flavors like garlic, lemon and sage.
  • Bacon-wrap the turkey.Cookbook Recipes January 2020 022
  • Bag it in the Reynolds Turkey-size baking bag.

That Turkey was the bomb! It was tender, falling off the bone and finger-licking good.

But that meal only happened once a year for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Poultry for the rest of the year was baked or fried chicken wings or thighs.

One of my grocery stores had the turkey wings on sale for $1.34 a pound, while the chicken wings were $3.99 a pound. That was a no-brainer. Be cheap and buy the turkey wings! I also bought some chicken thighs, since they were on sale for $.65 a pound.Turkey Wings 007

Then I remembered my turkey kit from 10 years ago. I never used the injection needle, because I hate to get shots.

But then my grocery store had the pre-filled injection needle with butter marinade on sale.

That poor turkey has to get a shot from some who is nervous about getting shots.

I might have to have a beer first, to calm my nerves.

Paging Dr. Turkey Briner: It’s time to giveTurkey Wings 019 those birds a shot with a needle. Stat!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Turkey Wings, 2
  2. Chicken Thighs 6
  3. Honey, recommended: Sam’s Choice, 2 teaspoons
  4. Lemon (cut into 4 wedges), 1
  5. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, recommended: Knorr, 4 teaspoons, divided
  6. Herbs of Provence, recommended: Delish, 1 teaspoon
  7. Smoked Paprika, recommended: McCormick Gourmet, ½ teaspoon
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar, recommended: Heinz, ¼ cupTurkey Wings 040
  9. Creole Style Butter Marinade, recommended: Tony Chachere’s Injectables,
  10. Creole Seasoning, New Orleans Style, recommended: Zatarains, 3 tablespoons for the poultry ( ¼ tablespoons for the fries)
  11. Chicken Fry Seasoned, recommended: Louisiana, 1 ½ bags (about 15 oz.)
  12. Panko Bread Crumbs, Italian Style, recommended: Great Value, ½ cup
  13. Cooking Vegetable Oil, recommended: Great Value, 1 ½ bottles (about 72 oz.
  14. Shortening Sticks, Butter Flavor, recommended: Crisco, 1 containerTurkey Wings 017
  15. Buttermilk Dry, Cultured, recommended: Saco, 2 teaspoons
  16. Cornstarch, 2 teaspoons
  17. Eggs, Jumbo, 2
  18. Buttermilk, recommended: Hiland, ½ cups, divided
  19. Potato Wedges, Deli style, seasoned, recommended: Great Value, 16 to 32 oz.
  20. Grated Parmesan Three Cheese Blend, recommended: Kraft, 2 teaspoons
  21. Water and teapot
  22. Paper bag, large
  23. Disposal gloves (I used at least 8)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the Lemon-Honey Brine. Boil water in the teapot. In a large bowl add honey, lemon, bouillonCookbook Recipes January 2020 029 cubes, Herbs of Provence, smoked paprika, vinegar and boiled water. Stir and let cool. After it is cool, you can add the turkey wings & chicken thighs. I added 5 medium-size ice cubes to cool it down, before adding the meat. This can sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  2. The day before cooking, add the poultry to a large gallon bag and massage it with the buttermilk.
  3. Then season with the Creole Seasoning and inject the poultry with the Creole butter marinade.
  4. The day of cooking, beat one egg and add to the chicken bag. Beat the other egg and add to the turkey wing bag. Massage the beaten eggs with the poultry.
  5. Mix the cornstarch with the chicken fry, dry buttermilk blend and granulated chicken bouillon in a Cookbook Recipes January 2020 024large paper bag. This is a good time to get the plastic gloves.
  6. Dip the poultry in the chicken fry mixture and repeat, back to the egg bag, adding additional buttermilk as needed. And finally, one last dredge in the chicken fry mixture. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes in the chicken fry mixture (refrigerated).
  7. Heat the shortening stick and cooking oil in a large cast iron pot until 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Preheat the oven to 350.
  9. Fry the turkey wings first about 10 to 15 minutes per side, until the meat is no longer pink at the bone. I used a cookie sheet with wire rack to drain the oil. Put in oven while frying the thighs and fries.Turkey Wings 024
  10. Next fry the chicken thighs, for 11 to 13 minutes per side to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Then rest in oven with the wings. Reduce oven to 180 to keep the meat warm
  11. Next fry the potato wedges about 5 to 7 minutes per side. I drain them in a colander and sprinkle with the Creole seasoning and parmesan cheese.

I love to make it “Buffalo” style with Louisiana Hot Sauce and Blue Cheese Dressing by Litehouse!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)Turkey Wings 037

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Happy Vance Day! Tuna & Catfish Delights.

Tuna5My big brother’s birthday is on December 21st.

Sunrise: December 21st! Gone, but not forgotten and still very much loved!

The last meal he cooked for us was Catfish Nuggets and Macaroni & Cheese. He liked to use a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup on the Mac & Cheese, so I will honor his flavor.

I hope to cook my Catfish Nuggets with Mac & Cheese this weekend, either Friday or Saturday. In the meanwhile, I have Tuna to eat for my main meal this week. Not Starkist Tunajust any tuna sandwich, but an “Epic” tuna sandwich, dedicated to Tito Jackson. I was watching one of the Jackson 5’s TV specials and Tito mentioned a Tuna & Tomato sandwich. I am finally getting around to making one.

Epic Tuna & Tomato Grilled Swiss Cheese on Rye Bread!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Tuna, Yellowfin Solid Wild-Caught, with Lemon Dill and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, recommended: Starkist Selects, two 4.5 oz. cans
  2. Tuna, Solid White Albacore, Gourmet Prime Filet Wild-Caught, recommended: Bumblebee, 5 oz.
  3. Tartar Sauce, recommended: Kraft, 3 to 4 teaspoons
  4. Tuna4Relish, Sweet Pickle, recommended: Vlasic, 2 to 3 teaspoons
  5. Cream Cheese, Garden Vegetable, recommended: Philadelphia, 2 to 3 teaspoons
  6. Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon, recommended: Philadelphia, 1 to 2 teaspoons
  7. Tasty Zesty Basil, Thyme & Lemon Zest Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 1 teaspoon
  8. Celery Seed, recommended: Tone’s, 1/8 teaspoon
  9. Rye Bread, New York Style, recommended: Great Value, 2 slices per sandwich
  10. McCormick Lemon SeasoningSwiss Cheese, Aged, recommended: Sargento, 2 slices per sandwich
  11. Eggs, Boiled, 2
  12. Tomato, Beefsteak, 1 large
  13. Mirepoix (Yellow Onion, Celery, Carrot), 2 tablespoons
  14. Butter, 1-2 pat, per sandwich

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil Eggs, 30 minutes before, or the day of cook
  2. Combine Tuna with Cream Cheese, Tartar Sauce and Relish, to your desired consistency
  3. Add chopped Eggs, Tasty Seasoning, Mirepoix and Celery Seed
  4. Tuna1Add butter to skillet then toast the Rye Bread, and add Swiss cheese slices on top
  5. Remove and add Tuna to both sides with a Tomato Slice in the middle of the sandwich

Easy Catfish Nuggets

Ingredients:

  1. Catfish Nuggets, 1 lb.
  2. Fish Fry, Seasoned, recommended: Louisiana, 5-10 oz.
  3. Smoked SalmonTasty Zesty Basil, Thyme & Lemon Zest Seasoning, recommended: McCormick, 2 teaspoons
  4. Cooking Oil, enough to cover the fish

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the Catfish with the Tasty Seasoning 30 minutes before or the day of cook. Then dredge in the Fish Fry 20 minutes before cook time.
  2. Heat the cooking oil for about 9 to 14 minutes, testing with toothpick to see if bubble when ready.
  3. Fry the fish, until brown and I usually move to a 300 degree oven, while I am using the same oil for fries.

Mac & Cheese for VanceTuna2

Ingredients:

  1. Elbow Macaroni, Large, 16 oz.
  2. Buttermilk, ½ pint
  3. Cheddar Cheese, Sharp, 2 lb.
  4. Panko Bread Crumbs,
  5. Swiss Cheese Shredded, 8 oz.
  6. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, 2
  7. Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, recommended: Campbell’s, 10.5 oz.
  8. Butter, ½ stickGarden Vegetable

Instructions:

  1. Boil Chicken Bouillon cubes in water.
  2. Add Macaroni to boiling water and cook until below tender
  3. Shred Cheese in Food Processor (or use Velveeta cheese, 16 oz.), I have a block of cheese I need to get rid of
  4. Drain Macaroni and add Cream of Mushroom Soup, ¼ stick of melted butter, Buttermilk and ¾ of the Sharp Cheddar Cheese into the baking pan
  5. Melt butter and combine Panko Crumbs with ¼ of the Sharp Cheddar Cheese to the top of the Macaroni and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, covered with foil. Add Swiss cheese and bake an additional 11 minutes, uncovered.

Tuna3

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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GARLICKY GREEK LEMON CHICKEN

Greek Chicken Dinner 029The Umami Flavor Bomb!

On cooking show competitions it is always a compliment to hear that your food has Umami. You, know, that bold flavor bomb that comes from strong ingredients like garlic, bacon, onion, cheese, pepper, anchovies or lemon/lime, AKA the 7 wonders of the food world. u·ma·mi /o͞oˈmämē/noun: Umami

  • a category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate.

I love food with Middle Eastern flavors such Sumac, Feta and Greek Chicken Dinner 026Greek Yogurt. I used to Belly Dance at the Kabob House. One of my favorite dishes was their Lamb Kabob and Rice, seasoned with Sumac. So here is my take on a baked chicken, marinated with Sumac and Greek Yogurt. Opa!

GREEK CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:

1. Chicken fresh bone-in, such as thighs or breasts, 2-3 ½ lb. (or use Frozen Chicken that you can defrost over 3 days)

2. Stubb’s Chicken Marinade Mix Citrus & Onion, 1 oz

3. Sumac, recommended Zamouri Spices, 2-3 tablespoons

4. Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain, recommended The Greek Gods, 8-16 oz.Samsung 309

5. Anchovies, recommended Crown Prince, 2 oz.

6. Feta cheese chunk, recommended President, 4 oz.

7. Feta cheese crumbles, recommended President, 4 oz. for garnish

8. Olive Medley (Kalamata pitted, whole and sliced, Green Salad sliced, Black Olives sliced) ¾ cup

9. Capers non-pareil, recommended Crosse & Blackwell, ¼ cup

10. Lemons, 2 (slice one and dice the other into 4 chunks)

11. Tomato, dice into 4 chunksGreek Chicken Dinner 014

12. Garlic, 5 cloves

13. Vinegar (your favorite, Red Wine, Apple Cider, Balsamic, etc.)

14. Rosemary Leaf, ½ teaspoon, divided

15. Tarragon Leaf, ½ teaspoon, divided

16. Naan Bread, 1 per meal

17. Truffle Oil, 1 teaspoon or less for Naan

GREEK CHICKEN INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Garlic Greek Chicken 015Fresh Chicken (add to Ziplock bag and cover with Sumac and Chicken Marinade). I was not baking my chicken that day, so I froze it.

2. For fresh chicken, add the Yogurt and marinade for ½ hour or longer

3. For frozen chicken, add the Yogurt to the bag and thaw in refrigerator for 3 days

4. Preheat oven to 325 when ready to cook

5. Season lemon and tomatoes with ¼ of Rosemary and Tarragon Leaf

6. Add chicken to baking dish and cover with Anchovy oil

7. Put the Anchovies beneath the chicken pieces and top the Anchovies with GarlicGreek Chicken 003

8. Add the Olive Medley with Capers between pieces and cover with Feta Cheese Chunk slices

9. Cover chicken with Lemon slices

10. Pour vinegar over the chicken

11. Cover with ¼ of Rosemary and Tarragon Leaf

12. Cover with foil

13. Bake at 325 for 1 hourGreek Chicken 006

14. Remove foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes

15. Add Truffle Oil to lemon and tomato chunks

16. Grill Lemon and tomato chunks

17. Remove and grill Naan bread for 2 minutes per side to get grill marks

SAFFRON RICE INGREDIENTS:

  1. Yellow Saffron Rice, recommended Mahatma, 5 oz.
  2. Turkey Broth and/or water 1 ½ to 2 cups
  3. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, 2Greek Chicken Dinner 001
  4. Feta cheese crumbles, recommended President, 4 oz. for garnish
  5. Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain, recommended The Greek Gods, 2 tablespoons
  6. Saffron, recommended Sun Brand, 5 to 10 strands
  7. Truffle Oil, 1 teaspoon
  8. Truffle Zest, ¼ teaspoon
  9. Butter, 2 pats, separated
  10. Rosemary Leaf, ½ teaspoon
  11. Tarragon Leaf, ½ teaspoon

SAFFRON RICE INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add Truffle Oil, Truffle Zest, 1 Butter pat, Rosemary and Tarragon and heat for 2 minutes in your sauce pan
  2. Prepare according to Rice package directions.
  3. Add Bouillon Cubes and Broth/Water to pan and bring to a boilGarlic Greek Chicken 011
  4. Add rice, cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Stir in Yogurt, Feta Cheese crumbles and 1 Butter pat

I am out of Tzatziki sauce at the moment. However, you can whip one up using Yogurt, Lemon juice (from the grilled lemons), Garlic and Dill. Perhaps, I will make that tomorrow, using my mini Chop Blender.

The baked Feta Cheese chunk slices mimic Greek Flaming Cheese: Saganaki! Even though it was baked, it did become crisp and benefit from the Olive Tapenade, Balsamic Vinegar and Anchovy Umami. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saganaki

  • In Greek cuisine, Saganaki (Greek σαγανάκι) is any one of a variety of dishes prepared in a small frying pan, the best-known being an appetizer of fried cheese. Garlic Greek Chicken 004
  • The cheese used in cheese saganaki is usually graviera, kefalograviera, halloumi, kasseri, kefalotyri, or sheep’s milk feta cheese. Regional variations include the use of formaela cheese in Arachova, halloumi in Cyprus, and vlahotiri in Metsovo. The cheese is melted in a small frying pan until it is bubbling and generally served with lemon juice and pepper. It is eaten with bread.
  • Other dishes cooked in a saganaki pan include shrimp saganaki (Greek: γαρίδες σαγανάκι, garídes saganáki), and mussels saganaki (Greek: μύδια σαγανάκι, mýdia saganáki), which are typically feta-based and include a spicy tomato sauce.
  • In many United States and Canadian restaurants, after being fried, the saganaki cheese is flambéed at the table (sometimes with a shout of “opa![2]), and the flames then usually extinguished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This is called “flaming saganaki” and apparently originated in 1968 atGarlic Greek Chicken 005 The Parthenon restaurant in Chicago‘s Greektown,[2][3][4][5] based on the suggestion of a customer to owner Chris Liakouras.[6].

That was the best and most flavorful rice I have ever made in my lifetime. It might be just as good as the Kabob House, but it will be just the Umami I need for dinner! Opa!

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).Greek Chicken Dinner 025

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

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