Showing posts with label poultry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poultry. Show all posts


Our Favorite Chicken Divan

If you were to ask my kids what their favorite dinner was growing up, bets are they would all say the same thing. We called it "Chicken, Broccoli and Rice", but it is known to most as Chicken Divan. There are several ways to make Chicken Divan, the super simple canned soup route or the made from scratch version. It's one of those- adult version or kid version recipes.
My kids love both. When I was in a hurry, I could have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes start to finish with the canned soup version, but the from scratch version doesn't take much longer, and in my opinion,  tastes waaay better. My favorite way to serve this dish is to bake it in the oven after making the sauce. I love the way the dish tastes when the sauce is spread over the rice and baked for a few minutes. But serving it straight from the stove top works too.
Oh, one more thing. If you're looking for a way to get your kids to eat broccoli, this dish should do the trick.

Our Favorite Chicken Divan aka  Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Dinner
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

6-8 cups cooked rice ( I like Pearl or Japanese style rice for this dish)
4-5 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1- .49 oz packet chicken flavoring*
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
4 cups milk (skim)
1 cup mayo (regular or low fat)
4 cups cooked chicken
1 cup milk
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook rice, set aside.
Steam broccoli by placing on a plate or non metal pie plate with about 3 tablespoons of water, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 3 minutes or until bright green. Remove and set aside.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook while whisking and butter and flour make a smooth paste. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add one package liquid chicken flavoring and salt and pepper. Slowly add milk to the mixture a little at a time, whisking while adding milk.
Cook until mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes on medium-medium high heat. Continue whisking.
Add mayo, whisking until smooth. Add broccoli, chicken and cheese. If the mixture is too thick, add an additional cup of milk until desired consistency.
If baking (not necessary) grease a 9x13 pan. Spread cooked rice (it's okay if it is still hot) into the dish. Pour chicken and broccoli mixture over the rice. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with additional grated cheese last ten minutes of baking.
If serving without baking all ingredients together, scoop rice onto individual plates and spoon broccoli and chicken mixture over the top of the rice.
Serves about 6

Alternative super quick and easy recipe, aka :

Foster Children's  Favorite Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Dinner

6-8 cups cooked rice
4-5 cups chopped broccoli
4 cups chicken (about 2-3 large chicken breast halves)
2 tablespoon olive or canola oil
salt and pepper
2 can cream of chicken soup regular or low fat
2 cans milk
1 cup mayo light or regular
1-2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2 cups grated cheese
more milk to thin, if necessary

Chop broccoli, set aside.
Cut up the chicken and place in a large pan with oil over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped broccoli to chicken in pan, cook until broccoli is bright green (about 3 minutes) . Add salt and pepper. Whisk in the soup, milk, mayo, lemon juice and grated cheese. Continue to cook until smooth and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
Serve over top of cooked rice.

-*I like to use Swanson brand "Flavor Boost" 100% Natural Concentrated Broth. There are 4 packets to a box. You may also use bullion cubes(2) or other types of chicken flavoring. It is not necessary to use the flavoring in the second recipe, the canned soup has plenty of chicken flavoring.


How to Roast a Turkey in a Bag

I  think I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner when I was 19 or 20 years old. It was in a little apartment on 6th avenue in Salt Lake City. The floor of the kitchen was covered in turquoise carpet, with matching turquoise counter tops, stove and fridge. Those were days before Google and Food Network. Days of trial and error. Many, many errors!

After years of cooking turkeys and trying to guess what time the turkey would be done (or if it was done at all) and the debate over should I or should I not baste the turkey, or do I or don't I cover the turkey in foil,  I decided to go the poultry bag route. My mom was a believer for many years before I jumped on board, and Mom's turkeys were always, always  moist and delicious. Guess what? Mom was right. This is hands down, the easiest, most fool proof way of cooking a turkey I have found.

Here's my step by step guide with tips below the recipe.
If this is your first time cooking a bird, or  if you are a seasoned Thanksgiving host, you'll love this method.  In a couple of days, I'll also post my turkey gravy in a pan and a method for producing moist stuffing that's cooked outside of the turkey.
The countdown is on.
10 days till lift off.

Ready? Do yourself a favor. Read this step by step all of the way through right now.
Then once more before starting.
If you're reading this and it's the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and your turkey is still in the freezer. Get it out NOW. Place in the fridge and start thawing.

Gather these items and place on counter.
Didn't use food handlers gloves this time, but if touching raw poultry makes you queasy,
get some.  Not pictured, but important- the bag.
Place one tablespoon of flour inside of the bag and shake
so the flour coats the inside of the bag. Preheat the oven and adjust the rack. 

Warning. The next few photos are of a n aked bird. Not attractive. But necessary in this tutorial. 
My apologies. 

Take the bird out of the packaging. It should be totally thawed.
 I usually set it on a large jelly roll pan, or in a cleaned out sink.
Tip on its side and release any water. Pat dry with paper towels and discard.
Place bird on its tummy and tie with cotton string to keep the legs
and wings from drying out while cooking. 

Observe in this photo how I was a little too aggressive in tying up my bird.
Poor thing. I tied him up so tight, that the strings ended up making an indent
in my beautiful turkey. Be firm, but gentle. 

Here's a better overall shot. Run the string under and on top of the bird, tie. Gently.
Then season with salt, pepper, garlic (or garlic salt) and poultry seasoning.
Place the turkey inside of the bag that has been coated with flour. 

There he goes. Into the bag. 

No action shot, but at this point, I drizzle olive oil and melted butter
 (or sometimes I just dot the butter on top and skip the melting) on top of the turkey. 

Gather the ends of the bag together and tuck under the bird.
Seal the end of the bag with the little twisty tie in the box.
Tuck under the turkey. Cut 5-6 one inch slits in the top of the bag.
Insert a meat thermometer into the bag on the outside of the plastic
so you can read it while it's in the oven.
Or make sure there's a place to insert an instant read thermometer.
Place it in the oven, just below the middle rack, remove any racks above the turkey.
Cook according to the size of turkey. 

The gauge is reading 170 in this photo.
180 is what you're looking for with a whole turkey if you insert the
thermometer in the turkey breast. 

After the turkey has set out for about 10 minutes, gently remove the bag. 

Cut the bag away and gently peel away from turkey. Cut the strings as well.
Use lifters or two big forks and transfer to a serving platter. 

See the little white button? That's the sensor the turkey people insert to tell you if the
turkey s done. Or not. I can't tell you how many times my little sensor has not popped up.
ALWAYS  use a thermometer.

Wow. Did you cook that?
That's what your in laws are going to say.
Well, yes. I did.

Roast Turkey in a Bag
A Bountiful Kitchen

One turkey 12-24 lbs, fresh or a frozen turkey, completely thawed
One Turkey Oven Bag ( Reynolds)
1/4-1/2  cup butter, melted
garlic salt, about 1 tablespoon
poultry seasoning, about 1-2 tablespoons
salt and pepper
Olive oil, about 2-3 tablespoons
cotton string for tying up turkey
heavy pan for roasting
meat thermometer

Set rack on second to bottom rack in oven. Remove any racks above. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the turkey bag from the box and add 1 tablespoons of flour to the bag. Shake the bag so it is coated lightly with flour and set the bag in the roasting pan.
Set the turkey in a clean sink. Remove the turkey from wrapping.  Reach inside and remove any parts in the cavity. Usually there will be a neck and a bag with other parts (heart, liver, etc) sick, I know. Make sure to remove these from the inside of your turkey before cooking. Repeat. Make sure to remove before cooking turkey!
Keep the neck to make gravy, see instructions below*.
Pat the turkey dry (inside and out) with paper towels, and discard. If you are stuffing the turkey with dressing, now is the time to stuff the turkey. Loosely pack the stuffing into the turkey and secure the ends of the turkey with a skewer.  Place the turkey on a jelly roll pan. Using string, tie up the turkey legs and the wings so they are close to the turkey body. If there is a band of skin close to the legs, you may also tuck the legs into the skin. Tying or tucking is necessary so the wings and legs will not dry out while cooking. Sprinkle with a generous amount of garlic salt or powder, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.
Pull the bag open, so it is easy to place the turkey in the bag. Leave the bag in the roasting pan.  Place the turkey inside of the bag. Drizzle the melted butter and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the turkey, try to cover most of the surface of the turkey. This will help the turkey to have a beautiful golden color after roasting.
Take the loose ends of the bag and tuck under the turkey. Tie up the end of the bag using the zip tie enclosed in the package. or you may use some of the string to secure the end of the bag.
Tuck under all loose ends. Cut about 5-6  1 inch slits in the top of the bag for steam to release.
Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey thigh, through the bag, so the thermometer is on the outside of the bag. If you place the thermometer on the inside of the bag, it will be difficult to read.
Bake turkey according to package directions:
12-16 lb turkey 2- 2 1/2 hours
16-20 lb turkey 2 1/2 -3 hours
20-24 lb turkey 3-3 1/2 hours

Remove from oven when turkey is done. The internal temperature should be 180 degrees if thermometer is inserted in breast and 170 if inserted in thigh.
Let the turkey sit for about 10 minutes, then gently peel away the bag. Lift the turkey onto a platter for serving.
Dump the juice from the bag into a bowl or saucepan  and skim off the oil that rises to the top and use the remaining liquid for turkey gravy.
Use my recipe for Simple Pan Gravy to make amazing gravy to serve with your turkey.

-Food handlers gloves. Always a good thing when preparing a turkey for cooking :)
-*Place the neck in 6 cups of cold water. You may add an onion, halved, carrots, celery and peppercorns.  Bring to boil, then simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until meat is cooked. Remove neck and vegetables and discard . Let broth cool.  Strain and use for  turkey gravy.
-Studies have found that more germs are spread when washing a turkey before cooking than if the turkey is simply patted dry and placed in the oven to cook. The reason relates to contamination of surfaces, utensils etc.
-I've been making turkey in a bag for years and have found the turkey is usually done about a half hour earlier than the time listed above.
-Always, always, always use a meat thermometer. One year, I relied on the pop up insert in the turkey. It never popped up. I kept baking and baking and baking. No pop up. You can spend anywhere from $5 to $200 on a thermometer. Get one. You'll be glad you did!
-You may use any combination of seasonings. I like garlic (powder or salt), salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. I've used fresh garlic, but didn't feel like I was able to cover the turkey as well as when using garlic salt or powder. Sometimes, if I plan ahead, I crush garlic cloves and place those in the melted butter. Fresh herbs are always wonderful as well.
-You may place vegetable in the cavity of the turkey. Sometimes I cut apples, onions and celery in half and place inside of turkey before cooking. Discard after turkey is cooked.
-If you cook a turkey with stuffing in the bird, make sure to pack it loosely. Allow for a little more baking time about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. I like to bake the stuffing separately in another dish. This way, I can more accurately predict when the meat will be done.