Chicken with Cherry Sauce

Baked Chicken with Chery Sauce
Baked Chicken with Chery Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Chicken with Cherry Sauce

Cherry sauce is an oft overlooked tool in a cook’s toolbox, with different components it becomes a versitile tool in your repertoire.  It goes great with any poultry, but doesn’t stop there.  It compliments pork and even beef, it is an all-purpose sauce.  Add more sweetening and take out the vegetables and it makes a great dessert sauce, with port wine and spices a great sauce for meats, it’s uses are endless so don’t ignore the cherry when it comes to cooking.

Ingredients for  Chicken with Cherry Sauce
  1. 1 Chicken breast per person
  2. 1 large onion diced
  3. 3-4 Tbsps all purpose flour
  4. 1 canned of dark sweet cherries(pitted)
  5. ½ cup white wine
  6. 3 Tbsps Red wine vinegar
  7. 1 cup water or chicken stock
  8. salt and peper to taste
  9. 2 Tbsps Butter
  10. 1 Tbsp neutral oil
Directions for  Chicken with Cherry Sauce

In a large sauté pan brown the chicken on both sides with the butter and oil. Strain the cherries, reserving the juice in a small pan.   

Once the chicken is browned place into an oven safe dish pour the cherries over them and place in a preheated 375° oven for approximately 35-45 minutes.   Set the sauté pan aside leaving the browned bits (fond) and any juices in the pan.

Once the chicken is done remove to a serving plate cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you make the sauce, set aside the juices and cherries in the baking dish.  Bring the juice from the cherries in the small pan up to medium heat.

Bring the sauté pan with the juice and browned bits from the chicken up to medium high heat.  Add the onions and sauté until they just begin to turn translucent.   Add the flour and stir to combine and cook all the raw flour.  Once combined add the cherry juice and stir to combine ( you will have a very thick sauce at this time).  Add the wine and red wine vinegar and again stir to combine.  Bring up to a boil and add as much stock or water as needed to make a slightly thick sauce.  Now add the juices and cherries from the baking dish, season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 If the sauce appears too thin continue to boil and reduce until you have the consistency you want, or if too thick add additional stock.

Serve by pouring some of the sauce over the chicken with the rest in a gravy boat.  For a fancy presentation slice the chicken on the bias and spread in an arc on your plates aned pour sauce over the top.

 

 

Here are a few items to help make this recipe:
https://www.amazon.com/Creuset-Stoneware-Rectangular-5-Inch-Caribbean/dp/B00HYXORJ6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1481391083&sr=1-6&keywords=baking+dish&linkCode=ll1&tag=rantsravesa06-20&linkId=16da8d2bca51c8a2095e631dd7a03dac
https://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-722-36H-Classic-Stainless-14-Inch/dp/B000NBWRU2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1481391142&sr=1-4&keywords=large+saute+pan&linkCode=ll1&tag=rantsravesa06-20&linkId=9379ca32bfb396385ed0df486d0d9d7f

 

The Official Taste Tester
The Official Taste Tester

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who needs the sauce – It’s Chicken!!!!!!! always a 5 paw review.

IMG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken with Cherry Sauce

Chicken with Cherry Sauce

Ingredients

  1. 1 Chicken breast per person
  2. 1 large onion diced
  3. 3-4 Tbsps all purpose flour
  4. 1 canned of dark sweet cherries(pitted)
  5. ¼ cup white wine
  6. 3 Tbsps Red wine vinegar
  7. 1 cup water or chicken stock
  8. salt and peper to taste
  9. 2 Tbsps Butter
  10. 1 Tbsp neutral oil

Instructions

  1. In a large sauté pan brown the chicken on both sides with the butter and oil. Strain the cherries, reserving the juice in a small pan.
  2. Once the chicken is browned place into an oven safe dish pour the cherries over them and place in a preheated 375° oven for approximately 35-45 minutes. Set the sauté pan aside leaving the browned bits (fond) and any juices in the pan.
  3. Once the chicken is done remove to a serving plate cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you make the sauce, set aside the juices and cherries in the baking dish. Bring the juice from the cherries up to medium heat.
  4. Bring the sauté pan with the juice and browned bits from the chicken up to medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until the just begin to turned translucent. Add the flour and stir to combine and cook all the raw flour. Once combined add the cherry juice and stir to combine ( you will have a very thick sauce ant this time). Add the wine and again stir to combine. Bring up to a boil and add as much stock or water as needed to make a slightly thick sauce. Now add the juices and cherries from the baking dish, season with salt and pepper, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the sauce appears to thin continue to boil and reduce until you have the consistency you want, or if to thick add additional stock.
  5. Serve by pouring some of the sauce over the chicken with the rest in a gravy boat. For a fancy presentation slice the chicken on the bias and spread in an arc on your plates with sauce over the top.
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Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey
Roast Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

Roast Turkey

So many people get uptight at the thought of Thanksgiving and the roast Turkey dinner, but if you look at it as just a big chicken it does not seem so formidable.  The real key though is to keep it simple, do not be intimidated by all the TV chefs with all the fancy side dishes that you “must do this year”.   If you are intent on making one of these “in” dishes, don’t make it for the first time on Thanksgiving.  Try it out a few times before,so you have your techniques and time down and you are sure your family thinks it tastes great.

Thanksgiving is more about tradition.  What were the favorite dishes your Grandmother and Mother made, and what are your family and friends favorites?  Everyone wants the “Norman Rockwell” version of Thanksgiving,  but if you look at the painting closely it is a Turkey with one covered side dish, a plate of celery, a plate of pickles,  a bowl of fruit,  a cranberry jelly mold and gravy.  Simple!

For the dinner itself Logistics is the key.  Plan out your menu well in advance, making sure that you will be able to cook all the things you are planning with the stove tops, ovens and microwaves you have available.  Once your turkey has been cooked it should rest for 15 – 30 minutes to allow the juices to settle in the meat, tenting it with foil will give you 30 minutes to finish all the side dishes.

Now on to the turkey!

Ingredients for Roast Turkey

The first big question here is just how big a bird do you cook?   I would think that a rule of thumb would be 1½ to 2 pounds per person.  The larger the bird the  more meat so as you lighten the turkey raise the amount per person.  For the average family of 6 -12 people for dinner, 2#’s per person should work well.

The second question is to stuff or not to stuff?  Unstuffed will cook faster, and you have less risk of Salmonella poisoning.  If you stuff make very sure that the center of the stuffing is at 165° or higher.  If you stuffed it to tightly you may end up with an overdone turkey and under done stuffing.  While a stuffed turkey does add flavor and moisture to the stuffing, when in doubt go with the stove top stuffing and leave it out of the bird.

  1.  Whole turkey size determined by the number of people it is going to serve.
  2. ¼  canola or neutral oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. 6-8 stalks of celery
  5. 1-2 roughly chopped onion
  6. 2-3 roughly chopped carrots
  7. 1+ cup stock or white wine
special equipment
  1. A good baster or heavy duty large spoon.
  2. Poultry twine

Directions for Roast Turkey

Thaw the turkey, again the size determines how long this will take.  Err on the side of caution and allow 12-24 hours longer than stated to be safe, there are a number of web sites that will give estimates.

Leave the turkey in its original packaging until just before you are ready to cook.  When you are ready, remove from the packaging take the giblets pack out ( these will be used for the gravy), rinse the bird in cold water and pat dry.  Tuck the wings in and with the twine lightly bind the leg ends together to help close the bird’s cavity.  You can, if not stuffing the bird, add salt and pepper, the celery tops and a quatered onion into the cavity.

Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan ( if you don’t have a rack use the carrots whole and the celery as a rack at the bottom of the pan).

Preheat the oven to 325°.

With a brush, coat the whole bird with the oil and then lightly salt and liberally pepper the outside and inside of the bird.  Place the bird breast side up on the rack and spread the onion, carrot and celery on the bottom of the pan, add enough stock or wine to lightly cover the bottom of the pan.   Place into the lower third of the preheated oven.

Check the bottom of the pan about every 30-45 minutes, keeping the bottom of the pan moist( if it looks dry add a little more stock or wine) so the juices do not burn, while checking baste the bird with the juices to keep it moist.

When the time is about 2/3 done, keep and eye on the bird , if it begins to brown too much cover loosely with a tent of foil.

Once the turkey reaches it’s final temperature remove to a cutting board and cover tightly with foil to rest for 30 minutes.

The juices left in the pan should be Strained and added to the gravy you make with the giblets( see turkey gravy).

Approximate cooking times for Thawed Turkey

For the best advice go to the Butterball web site to find times for all the various turkey products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking  times are approximate, determine when the turkey is done by temperature, and whatever you do do not trust the pop  up thermometer in the breast they are unreliable.  The Turkey is done when the temperature of the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone is 180º and the breast is 165º.   If stuffed make sure the center of the stuffing is 165º or more.

To Carve at the table or Not to Carve.

Here we have another or the Great Thanksgiving conundrums, do you carve at the table or not?  My thoughts are if you are a master carver and want to show off then by all means do it at the table. For  everyone one else it is far easier to do it in the kitchen and quite frankly I disagree with the time honored way of slicing the breast off the bird.

To carve a Turkey is actually quite a simple task, again just think of it as a “big” chicken.  Remove the wings at the joint nearest the bird then separate the three pieces at the joints of the wings.  Now slice down between the thigh and the bird through that joint remove the thigh and drum stick and then slice between the thigh and drumstick.  I leave the drumstick whole but slice the meat away from the bone on the thigh.

Now carefully slice across the top of the bird between both breast pieces and with you knife flat against the ribs slowly slice the whole breast off the bird place on the cutting board a slice thinly perpendicular to the breast against the grain.  You will end up more slices of white meat the a juicier and moister.

Want to practice, try a few baked chicken before Thanksgiving to get the hang of it!

 

Here are a few items to help make this recipe:
https://www.amazon.com/Zwilling-J-Henckels-2-Piece-Carving/dp/B00004RFL0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1479589280&sr=8-1&keywords=Henckel+four+star+carving+set&&linkCode=ll1&tag=rantsravesa06-20&linkId=c8f4064906045220a5af4969e5325baa
https://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Contemporary-Anodized-Nonstick-Roasting/dp/B00DE1BXK8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1479589372&sr=8-3&keywords=calphalon+roasting+pan&linkCode=ll1&tag=rantsravesa06-20&linkId=2f104922c9a994fc19801bb7fc8aaf57

 

The Official Taste Tester
The Official Taste Tester

 

 

 

 

 

 

I get the giblets, gravy and lots of leftovers, it’s a week of heaven- too bad we don’t cook a 100 pound turkey it could last a month!

 

 

 

Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiche

Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiche
Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiche

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiché

The other afternoon after a fairly hectic morning, I realized that I had not taken anything out for dinner.  A quick inventory of what was on hand pointed to a Quiché.  Fairly easy to make with only the spinach and puff pastry to defrost, I had intended to make my pie dough but found I was out of shortening. Certainly with a salad this is a filling meal.

As with all recipes that aren’t formulas, the option to use what ever you like is readily available.  Portions and measurements and ingredients are up for discussion. As I’ve said many times the “Quiché Police” won’t come knocking on your door if you omit an ingredient or add one.

Recipes like this are a springboard for your creative juices to flow, cooking times and temps are the start you just need to fill in the rest of the blanks.

Ingredients for Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiché
  1. 6 Whole eggs
  2. ¼-½ cup whipped cream cheese(room temperature)
  3. ½ Large onion finely diced
  4. ½#  Cheddar cheese cut into small dice
  5. ½# Bacon cut into ½” lardons
  6. 1½ cups Milk, ½&½ or heavy cream
  7. 10 oz package of spinach thawed and drained
  8. 1 sheet of puff pastry
  9. salt & pepper
Directions for Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiché

Begin by defrosting the spinach and the puff pastry.  Once the spinach is defrosted place it in a kitchen towel and wring out as much moisture as you can .  Once dried chop fine.

Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and when softened roll out to a 11 or 12″ square.  Then place into a 9′ glass pie pan.

While the pastry is defrosting diced the bacon and on medium heat, cook until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and cool. 

Drain off most of the bacon fat, add the onions and sauté until translucent.  remove from the pan to cool.

Preheat oven to 425º.

Take the eggs, milk and whipped cream cheese and whisk briskly until all are combined and the cream cheese is in lumps the size of small peas.

Add the bacon, onion, spinach and cheddar cheese and about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan.  You can trim the pastry and crimp it around the edges of the pie plate or simply fold the four corners over the top of the egg mixture.

Bake in a 425º oven for about 25 minutes until the crust begins to brown and the egg mixture is set.

Remove from the oven and allow the Quiché to cool on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve.  Serve with sour cream on the side.

 

Here are a few items to help make this recipe:
https://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-Glass-Bakeware-Pie-Plate/dp/B000EURKG8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1470605841&sr=8-4&keywords=glass+pie+dish&linkCode=ll1&tag=rantsravesa06-20&linkId=72e77d7f5a2350390008015d4db382b6
https://www.amazon.com/OXO-53081-SteeL-Pie-Server/dp/B00004OCMB/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1470605892&sr=8-4&keywords=pie+server&linkCode=ll1&tag=rantsravesa06-20&linkId=aabbd9253aff5e0f83ea2e1f1e5d22a7

 

The Official Taste Tester
The Official Taste Tester

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice crust with a lovely bacon eggy mixture- I would have put in more bacon and less of the green stuff but it was puppy passable, so five paws.

IMG

 

 

 

Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiche

Spinach and Bacon Puff Pastry Quiche

Ingredients

  1. 6 Whole eggs
  2. ¼-½ cup whipped cream cheese(room temperature)
  3. ½ Large onion finely diced
  4. ½# Cheddar cheese cut into small dice
  5. ½# Bacon cut into ½" lardons
  6. 1½ cups Milk, ½&½ or heavy cream
  7. 10 oz package of spinach thawed and drained
  8. 1 sheet of puff pastry
  9. salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Begin by defrosting the spinach and the puff pastry. Once the spinach is defrosted place it in a kitchen towel and wring out as much moisture as you can . Once dried chop fine.
  2. Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and when softened roll out to a 11 or 12" square. Then place into a 9' glass pie pan.
  3. While the pastry is defrosting diced the bacon and on medium heat cook until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain and cool.
  4. Drain off most of the bacon fat, add the onions and saute until translucent. remove from the pan to cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 425º.
  6. Take the eggs, milk and whipped cream cheese and whisk briskly until all are combined and the cream cheese is in lumps the size of small peas.
  7. Add the bacon, onion, spinach and cheddar cheese and about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan. You can trim the pastry and crimp it around the edges of the pie plate or simply fold the four corners over the top of the egg mixture.
  9. Bake in a 425º oven for about 25 minutes until the crust begins to brown and the egg mixture is set.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the quiché to cool on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve. Serve with sour cream on the side.
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