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).

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Greek Chili for a Chilly Night

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 085I used to Belly Dance in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants back in the 80s. My favorite “taste” of Greek food included Gyros (with Feta and Lamb), Kabobs (with Sumac), Tzatziki (with Cucumbers), Hummus (from Garbanzo Beans AKA Chickpeas) and Spanakopita (with Spinach). So why not mix those flavors with my favorite dish: Chili?

My original chili was Beef Chili. My family loved it! It was thick, meaty and spicy! Using a slow cooker, instead of a stock pot, allowed all of the ingredients time to meld together. Next came CMcCormick Fiery Tastyhicken Chili made with Butter Beans, White Kidney Beans, Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage and chopped Polish Sausage.

To save calories, but keep the bold and spicy flavors intact, my next chili creation used Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage, Turkey Polish Sausage and Pork Chorizo. In fact, I liked it better than my “Slap Ya Momma” Beef Chili. None of the flavor was missing. And in fact, it was even spicier by using Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero peppers and the McCormick Tasty Fiery Seasoning Mix of Sriracha, Lime and Garlic!

The chili seasoning can make or break your chili. It makes all of the difference in the world. Back when I first started making chili, I would buy the cheapest chili seasoning. You know the one that is Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 003the store brand or 50 cents or less. Then I discovered Williams Chili Seasoning. And I will admit: they are the best. They are the reason why my Chili brings so many compliments.

I have to admit that McCormick Seasonings are stepping up their game. They released the “Tasty” blends, that bump up the flavor using Sriracha, Lime, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Basil, Oregano, etc. I love using the Lemon Zest to season my Tuna and Catfish Nuggets. And when you mix Williams and McCormick together, get ready for a spicy flavor bomb!

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 042I had 3 hours of sleep and my Dishwasher is broken. Which means, I am mixing the meats in the skillet, instead of washing a bowl by hand. I have the slow cooker set for 4 hours, just enough time for a catnap before my Chili dinner on a chilly (19 degree) day!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Lamb, recommended: Marketside Superior Farms, 2 lb.
  2. Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 ozChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 040.
  3. Italian Sausage Mild, recommended: Great Value, 1 lb
  4. Spinach, frozen chopped, recommended Great Value, 12 oz
  5. Garbanzo Beans, Chick Peas, recommended: Bush’s Best, two 15.5 oz. cans
  6. Kidney Beans, Dark Red, recommended: Great Value, 15.5 oz.
  7. Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, two 14.5 oz. cans
  8. Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Chili Style, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 046
  9. Jalapeno Peppers, diced, recommended: Great Value, 4 oz.
  10. Chili Seasoning, Tex-Mex style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
  11. Chili Seasoning, Original style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
  12. Fiery Tasty Seasoning Mix with Sriracha, Lime and Garlic, recommended: McCormick, 1 oz.
  13. Mirepoix with diced Yellow Onion, Carrot and Celery, 8 oz.
  14. Garlic, smashed, 10-11 cloves
  15. Sumac, recommended: Zamouri Spices, ½ teaspoonChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 052
  16. Cabernet Sauvignon, recommended: Yosemite Road, 1 cup
  17. Balsamic Vinegar, 2-3 teaspoons
  18. Liquid to thin it out, such as Cola, Chicken Broth, Water or Ice Cubes (as needed, depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chili to be), ½ to 1 can.
  19. Plastic Gloves, disposal will do
  20. Slow Cooker Liners, recommended: Reynolds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gloves oChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 083n and ready to cut off the Garlic heads. Add them to the slow cooker liner and smash them with a small bowl.
  2. Mix ground Lamb, Italian Sausage and Pork Chorizo in the skillet and then brown in skillet for about 20 to 25 minutes. Add half of the Wine and Mirepoix. Cook on low for 5 minutes and then drain. I use an empty bean or diced tomato can for the grease.
  3. Drain and rinse beans. I top the beans with a dash of Sumac!
  4. Top the smashed Garlic with the remaining Mirepoix and Spinach. Then add the Tex-Mex Chili seasoning, Wine and Balsamic Vinegar. Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 049
  5. Add the Meats and then the Fiery Tasty Seasoning packet.
  6. Add the drained beans and then the Original Chili seasoning
  7. Add the 3 cans of Diced Tomatoes.
  8. Thin out with Liquids, if you want thinner Chili. I used a half can of Cola for a “sweet” touch.
  9. Add the Jalapeno Peppers and Sumac during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  10. Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, stir halfway through.

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 086I like to top mine with Feta & Cheddar Cheese, Diced Cucumbers, Lime Juice and a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream.

 

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:

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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