Thanks to my self-quarantine from the coronavirus, I have A LOT of free time on my hands. I am thinking of spending some of that free time trying some of Godron Ramsay’s recipes. One recipe caught my attention: buttermilk fried chicken. My family recently bought two gallons of buttermilk and we have been trying to find a use for it. We will conduct this experiment this Thursday and see the results. Wish us luck!
I just discovered an extreme medieval entree called the turducken or the roast without equal. The idea behind this monster of a roast is taking a bunch of birds and stuffing smaller birds into larger birds. The most extreme order involved taking a bustard and having it stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an ortolan bunting, and a garden warbler. This dish puts your average Thanksgiving turkey to shame! The idea behind this dish originated in Rome and later perfected in medieval times. I am definitely adding this dish to my fantasy series because it is truly a main course fit for an emperor.
In another Curiosity Stream documentary, I became aware of attempts to create synthetic meat as a food source. To achieve this, scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that lupine seeds have more protein than meat by a third. In addition, when properly ground, the lupine seeds have the taste and texture of meat. In a world where traditional livestock are not an option, this would make sense as an alternative food source in a futuristic world. I will keep this in mind while writing my superhero story.
Henry VIII has always been famous for his insatiable appetite. In fact, there was one incident that highlighted this appetite the most. While being married to his second wife, Anne Boelyn, Henry came across a group of her handmaidens, who were enjoying a tart dessert. He asked them what the dessert was called. In response, the handmaidens shrugged their shoulders and called them maids of honor. Henry VIII liked the maid of honor tarts so much that he hunted down the cook who made them and imprisoned him on the palace grounds to make the tarts soley for Henry’s table. For the third part of my first fantasy trilogy, I am thinking of presenting a similar tart in the story and it will make you wish it was real. Just thinking about it is making me super hungry.
Here is the finished product of the Thanksgiving turkey. It was so tender and juicy that the meat fell off the bone. The herbs and spices greatly complimented the other dishes in the feast. I would recommend this Gordon Ramsay recipe to anyone who is interested. Happy Thanksgiving!
Here is the turkey I will be working with this Thanksgiving! It is 14.56 pounds. I have to time its cooking perfectly because I have to cook it for a half hour per kilogram. When it is cooked, I have to let it rest, which will allow it to reabsorb its juices and relax its texture. It is a young turkey, which is ideal because turkeys are at their best flavor when they are young. I look forward to working with this little fellow.
Another Gordon Ramsay recipe I intend to use for Thanksgiving is this apple and cranberry sauce. It will require two herbs and spices I never ate or used before: Star Anise, which comes from Vietnam and China, and Cardamon, which comes from India. These two could not be found in my local grocery store so I bought them online from Amazon. It will be nice to try something new, especially around the holidays.
For those of you who are interested in this recipe, here it is:
15 – 20 minutes
Core, peel and thinly slice 2 apples.
Grate thezest of one Orange and squeeze out the juice.
Place castor sugar, star annisse and cardamon in a heavy-bottom skillet and caramelize.
Add the cranberries and cook until they start to blister and pop.
This year, I will be cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving. I came across this recipe by grand master chef Gordon Ramsay. Even though this recipe is meant for Christmas, I think it will do just fine as a Thanksgiving recipe. It also comes with a recipe for gravy. I watched the video of him cooking the turkey multiple times and it looks divine. My family is super-excited!
For those of you who are interested in trying this recipe for Thanksgiving, here it is:
Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Meanwhile, prepare the herb butter. Put the butter into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley. Mix well to combine.
Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity. Season the cavity well with salt and pepper, then stuff with the onions, lemon, garlic halves and 2 bay leaves.
With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both ends of the bird so that you will be able to stuff the flavoured butter underneath it, making sure you keep the skin intact. Repeat with the skin on the legs – from the lower side of the breast feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosening the gap.
Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, gently massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered. Finally, insert the rest of the bay leaves under the skin of the breasts.
Place the bird in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin. Season well with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a little olive oil. (If preparing a day ahead, cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate at this stage.)
Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist. Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4 and cook for about 2 1⁄2 hours (calculating at 30 minutes per kg), basting occasionally.
To test whether your turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
Transfer the turkey to a warmed platter and remove the parson’s nose, wings and tips of the drumsticks; reserve these for the gravy. Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes; make the gravy in the meantime. Remove the bay leaves from under the skin before carving. Serve the turkey with the piping hot gravy, stuffing and accompaniments.
Once you’ve transferred the cooked turkey to a platter to rest, drain off most of the fat from the roasting tray and place on the hob.
Roughly chop the bacon, add to the tray and fry for a few minutes. Chop the onions and lemon and add to the tray with 2 rosemary sprigs and the tomatoes. Cook for 1–2 minutes, then add the turkey wings, parson’s nose and drumstick tips and fry for a few more minutes.
Pour in the cider and boil for a few minutes. Add the juices from the resting turkey and simmer to reduce the liquid by half. Pour in the stock, return to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly. Using a potato masher, crush the vegetables in the tray. Simmer for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced again by a third. Take off the heat.
Strain the gravy through a sieve into a saucepan, pressing down on the solids in the sieve with a ladle to extract as much of the flavourful juice as possible. Add a fresh sprig of rosemary to the pan, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for a few minutes.
Before serving, remove the rosemary and reheat the gravy. Coarsely crush the walnut pieces using a pestle and mortar and then tip into a warmed gravy jug. Pour the piping hot gravy on top and serve at once.