Thursday, July 11, 2013

Two Birds in One Kitchen

Hi, I'm finally back with a recipe! Well, maybe not an actual recipe but with one of those hacks that would make our lives easier here at the towncasa if I would just take my own advice and do it more frequently. That advice is to keep large amounts of meats and veggies cooked up in the fridge to make meal time faster and easier on weekdays. I must admit that I have been slacking in this regard for a while, so to kick myself in the butt, I decided to cook a turkey breast and a whole chicken!  I think there is some controversy about calling poultry 'meat', but I'll look into that later.

I started out by visiting a local store call The Fresh Market which is almost more a gourmet than a natural grocer, but everything there is top quality and beautiful.  Besides Whole Foods is quite a long way from where we live, so The Fresh Market and Publix, our major, big grocery, just have to do for most days.  But I digress. 

Once home from shopping,  I heated the ovens (more on why that is plural later) to 425 degrees and gathered some salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, olive oil, a lemon and some whole garlic pods along with the turkey breast and the whole chicken.

I love the turkey breast that The Fresh Market sells.  They are cut from a fresh bird and rolled up in this netting that keeps everything together:

See how nice and neat?  I just rinsed, patted dry, and sprinkled this guy with some salt/pepper and set him aside for a bit.

Now for the whole chicken.  This has taken some getting used to for me.  I love Robb Wolf and consider him my absolute Paleo Hero.  His books have taught me that humans must eat meat.  I understand that now, but after NOT eating meat for fourteen years, it is still hard when what I eat looks like the critter it used to be.  Check this guy out:

See what I'm saying?  Legs and wings still make me a little sad to see, not to mention the body cavity. (Thank goodness The Fresh Market did not pack the giblets, a.k.a guts, into that cavity because I would have surely perished.)  Oh well, I just had to get over it.  So here's what happened to the chicken:

Yep.  After a rinse and pat dry, the lemon was halved, stuffed up in the cavity, and his/her little legs were tied up with kitchen twine. Holy smokes. Oh boy. Then I salted and peppered the poor thing all over and sprinkled on a generous amount of the herbs de Provence.  I washed my hands about two hundred times during this process because I have watched The Food Network enough to know that terrible things happen when you handle raw poultry and don't clean up.
I placed the respective birds in appropriate roasting receptacles.  I really don't cook with olive oil anymore, but I did give each bird a little coating before they went into their private ovens.
I wish we still had double ovens, but space at the towncasa is at a premium so there is no room in the kitchen.  I am lucky to have a small convection oven that is just the right size for the turkey breast and my favorite green Le Creuset thing.  (I love kitchen stuff; like a true geek for it, srsly.)
The chicken got the big oven and the turkey breast got the little one.  The garlics went in with the chicken after about 45 minutes.  They roasted for about and hour and ten or fifteen minutes total.  Their internal temperature should be 160 degrees when done; I checked and took them out at about 150ish degrees, covered the pans with foil and let the temps come up:

Oh yummy.
I can carve up the turkey breast like nobody's business, but  chicken carving still has me a little sad.  It had to wait for Hubs to come home; our dog, Cappi, is always so happy to help out.

Cleaning up wasn't too bad for's never going to be the fun part of my day though:

After all was cooked and carved, we sat down for a delicious dinner of the sliced turkey with roasted Brussels sprouts and a little tomato/avocado salad.  It was nice to know that we had plenty of the turkey and chicken on hand to use in salads or whatever.  (Roasting up some veggies is an idea for another post.  And so is the explanation on why the dog has on a goofy jacket.)  Yay, this is I just hope to get some readers!



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